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Volume One 






Volume One 
Part I & II 


Maulana Mohammad Manzoor Nomani 

Translated by Completed & Revised by 

Mohammad Asif Kidwai Rafiq Abdur Rehman 

M.A., Ph D 




to all those religious brothers who believe 
in the unlettered Prophet, Sayyidina 
Muhammad Arabi % (to whom be 
ransomed my mother, father, my soul and 
my heart) 

and who believe that their salvation and 
that of all the children of Aadam &gft 
depends on following his guidance and his 
beautiful way of life. 

Hence, they long to gain true awareness of 
his teachings and practices. 


Let us purse the path of knowledge and 
imagination and attend the gatherings of 
the Prophet 0 and hear his sayings, 


from this spring of light receive guidance 
for our dark hearts. 

The humble sinner 
Muhammad Manzoor Na'umani 
ti* Jit Up 




i o 


1 Preface 

2 Introduction 

3 Way of the Prophet 

4 Another Qur'anic Proof cf the Premptoriness of the 30 

5 The True Place of the Prophet 45 

6 Introduction by Maulana Abu Hasan Ali Nadvi 53 


(Book of Faith) 

8 Allah Accepts Deeds That are Only for Him 69 

9 A Misunderstanding 70 
Even a great Deed that is not for Allah and Lacks 71 
sincerity will take one to Hell 

1 1 A Qur'anic Similitude of the Sincere and the Insincere 72 

12 In This World Judgement is Based upon the Aparent. 73 
while, in the Hereafter, intention is the main criteria 

13 significance 73 

14 Islam, Faith and Sincerity in Action 75 

15 Hadith Jibreel 75 

16 (A) Islam 77 

17 (B)Iman 78 

18 A Misgiving and Its Answer 80 

19 (C)Ihsan 83 

20 Warning ^ 

21 (D) The Last Hour 85 


22 (E) Portents 



23 Tenets of Islam °Z 

24 Glad Tidings of Paradise Against the Tenets of Islam 90 

25 Order and Gradation in the Preaching of the Principal 97 

26 He Cannot Attain Salvation who does not Believe in 101 
the Messenger of Allah and Profess the Religion 
brought by Him 

27 True Faith and Islam Guarantee Salvation 103 

28 Another Principle that Answers Doubts of This Kind 118 

29 All Previous sins are Forgiven on Acceptance ot Islam 1 2 1 

30 Life and Property become Secure with the Acceptance 123 
of Islam 

3 1 Some Outward Signs of Faith 1 1 

32 A Muslim Does not Become an Infidel Because ot an 128 
Evil Act 

33 Branches of Faith 

34 Signs and Fruits of Faith 1 ^ 

35 Pre-requisites of Faith ^ 

36 Actions and Moral Habits That are Inimical to Faith 1 45 

37 Some Actions and Attributes of Hypocrisy 1 48 

38 Evil Thoughts Are Not Harmful to Faith And There 151 
will be no Punishment on them 

39 The Essence of Faith 

40 Belief in Divine Predestination 1 5 7 


(Barzakh, Last Day, The Hereafter) 

42 Some Basic Principles {1] 

43 (A) Barzakh 

44 (B) Last Day " 

45 Before Allah and Examination ot Deeds » * 

46 Rights of Fellowmen on the Day of Judgement 1 95 

47 Weight of the Name of God in the Scales of Deeds 1 97 

48 Lenient Reckoning J 

49 How Short and Easy of Day of Judgement will be tor 199 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 


50 Those Who keep awake at Nights for Allah will Go to 200 

5 1 Heaven without going Through Reckoning 

52 A Large Number of Muslims will Enter Paradise 200 
Without Reckoning 

53. The Pond of Kausar, the Bridge of Sirat and the Scales 201 
of Justice 

54 Heaven and Its Blessings 2 1 6 

55 Eternal Good Pleasure of the Lord 222 

56 The Seeing of Allah in Heaven 223 

57 Hell And Its Chastisement 227 

58 An Important Warning in Respect Heaven and Hell 233 


50 KIT A BUR RIQA Q 237 
(The Book of Soft-Hearted ness) 

60 Fear of Allah and Anxiety for the Hereafter 240 

61 If the Invisible World was Made Known to Us 240 

62 Remember Death Much to Keep Negligence Away 244 

63 Fear And Anxiety 245 

64 Wise and Farsighted 246 

65 With Hearts Afraid 247 

66 On the Day of Judgement Every Worshipper will 249 
Regard His Deeds as Insignificant 

67 Minor Sins 249 

68 Fear And Hope 250 

69 Whoever Has Felt the Fear of Allah Will be Slavaged 25 1 
from Hell 

70 Auspiciousness of Tears 251 

71 Standing of Hair on End 252 

72 A Aarable 253 

73 Criterion of Excellence and Nearness 254 

74 Conditions of the Prophet and the Companions 256 

75 Contemptuous Disregard of The World 263 

76 The World and the Hereafter 263 

77 The Material World in Comparison to the Hereafter 267 

78 Believer's Prison-House 268 



79 The World is Transitory While the Hereafter is Eternal 269 

A Veritable Curse 270 

90 Seeker of the World Cannot Keep Himself From 271 

9 1 Allah Protects Whom He Loves From The World 27 1 

92 A Wayfarer 271 

93 This World and The Next 272 

94 Do Not Attach Yourself to This World But Seek the 273 

95 Danger of Affluence 274 

96 Riches — The Greatest Mischief 275 

97 Love for Wealth and Fame is Destructive to Religion 276 

98 Love for Wealth And the World Remains 276 
Undiminished in Old Age Too. 

99 Greed for Amasing Wealth is Insatiable 277 

100 The Seeker of The Hereafter & The Seeker of this 278 

1 1 1 Real Share in Wealth 279 

112 Slaves of Wealth Deprived of Allah's Mercy 280 

113 Not to Trade or Hoard Wealth 280 

1 1 4 Preference of Poverty 2 8 1 

115 Most Enviable Bondman 282 

116 Abu Darda's Reply to Wife 283 

117 Death of Poverty 284 

1 1 8 Most Beloved of The Lord 284 

1 1 9 Who Hide Their Hunger And Privation 285 

120 Zuhud (Asceticism) And its Fruits 287 

121 Beloved of Both, Allah and Man 287 

122 On Keeping Company With Ascetics 288 

123 Ready Recompense 288 

124 Chosen Bondsmen 289 

1 25 Righteousness is Based on Belief And Zuhud 290 

126 Islamic Asceticism 292 

1 27 Prophet's Liking for Poverty 293 

128 Not Even Barely Bread 294 

1 29 Unparalleled Presecution 295 

1 30 Oven Not Lighted For Months 296 

Meaning, unci Message of the Traditions Part II 

1 1 

131 Continuous Hunger 296 

1 32 The Prophet's Mail Was Mortgaged With A Jew 297 

133 Lying on a Mat 298 

1 34 Sleeps on a Mat Like a Traveller 299 

135 Wealth is a Blessing If. 300 

136 Obtaining Wealth For Virtuous Ends 301 

137 It is Istedraj 3 04 

138 Do Not Be Envious of the Prosperity of An Evil Doer 305 

1 39 Consider No One Lowly Because of Poverty 306 

140 Blessedness of the Weak and Indigent 309 

1 4 1 Look at an Inferior Not at a Superior 309 

142 Virtuous Life 31 j 

1 43 Some Important Exhortations of the Prophet 3 1 5 

(The Book of Manners) 

145 Place of Morality in Islam 337 

146 Important Good Manners 338 

147 Good Morals and Bad Compassion and Lack of It 343 

1 48 They are Deserving of Divine Mercy who are Merciful 343 
to Others 

149 On Showing kindness to Animals — A Thirsty Dog 344 

150 Generosity 34g 

1 5 1 Forgiveness and Self-Restraint 3 50 

152 Doing Good 353 

153 Even the Smallest act of Goodness is Precious in The 356 
Judgement of the Lord 

154 Self-Denial 357 

1 55 Love and Hatred for the Sake of Allah 360 

156 Love for the Sake of Allah is Really respect for And 360 
Worship of Allah 

1 57 They Become the Beloved of Allah Who Care for Each 361 

158 Those Who Love for the Sake of Allah Will be 363 

1 59 Distinguished on the Day of Resurrection 

160 Love, A Means to Nearness 364 

161 Religious Brotherhood And Islamic Fellow 369 

1 2 Contents 

162 Fellow Feeling Among Muslims 369 

163 Forbidding Mutual Hatred, Jealousy And Fault-Finding 370 

164 Warning to Those Who Cause Hardship to Believers 372 

165 Warning Against Envy 373 

166 The Curse of Maliciousness 374 

167 Rejoicing at The Misfortune of Others 375 

168 Mildness and Affability 375 

169 Forebearance of The Prophet 378 

170 Self-Restraint of The Manners stressed by The Holy 379 
Prophet is to Control One's Tempers 

171 A Wrestler is He Who Overcomes Anger 380 

1 72 What to Do When Aroused? 380 

173 Superiority of Suppressing One's Anger for The Sake 382 
of Allah 

174 Restraint 383 

1 75 Acting in a Cool and Collected Manner 384 

176 Gentleness of Speech 385 

177 The Virtue of Talking Less and Avoiding Vain and 388 
Rotten Speech 

1 78 On Giving-up What is Foolish and Absurd 395 

1 79 Tale-Bearing 395 

180 Slander And Back-Biting 397 

181 Double-Dealing 399 

182 Truthfulness And Trustworthiness 403 

1 83 Truthfulness And Falsehood 403 

1 84 Honesty in Trade 405 

1 85 Falsehood And Breach of Trust are Inimical to Faith 406 

186 Filth of Falsehood 406 

187 A Most Serious Form of Perfidy 407 

1 88 Bearing False Witness and Swearing a False Oath 407 

189 False Oath 408 

1 90 Disguised Or Imperceptible Falsehood 4 1 0 

1 9 1 Covert or Concealed Perfidy 4 1 1 

192 To Say Something on One's Own in Order to Bring a 413 
Dispute or Mischief to An End is Not Falsehood 

1 93 Fulfilling a Promise 4 1 3 

Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part Jl 13 

194 Humility 416 

195 Modesty 419 

196 Contentment 423 

197 Patient, Preserverance and Gratitude 428 

198 Reliance on Allah 433 

199 Sincerity in Action and Single-Minded Devotion 443 

200 Allah Regards What Lies in The Hearts 444 

201 Propitiousness of Single-Minded Devotion 445 

202 Riya is a Form of Polytheism 449 

203 Any Act With the Slightest Trace of Polytheism is Not 45 1 
Worthy of Acceptance 

204 Disgrace And Ignominy Will be The lot of the 452 

205 Stern Warning To Those Who Seek Worldly Gain in 452 
The Name of Faith 

206 Severest Chastisement of Hell for Deceitful 453 
Worshippers and Theologians 

207 The First to be Awarded the Punishment of Hell on the 454 
Day of Judgement Will be the Hypocritical theologian. 
Martyr and Doer of Charity 

208 To Be Respected for Good-Doing is a Favour of the 455 


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful 

Praise belongs to Allah, and peace be on His chosen slaves. 

Of the numerous favours of Allah on His slaves, His greatest 
favour is the chain of Prophets p*-Ji p^S* that He sent to them for 
their guidance. One of them was always commissioned as Prophet 
whenever they were in need of a guide. 

The chain of Prophets f'rt-Ji ^It- continued for thousands of 
years culminating in the person of Sayyidina Muhammad as the 
Seal of Prophets and the Last of Messengers. He brought the final 
and perfect teaching that should suffice till the end of time. 

The divine teachings and guidance that he brought is made up 
of two parts, the Book of Allah, the Qur'an which is the Word of 
Allah bom in the literal sense and in the meanings, and the sayings 
and deeds of the Prophet These sayings and deeds came to us 
while he explained the Book of Allah and demonstrated it 
practically. The Companions 4&> preserved them and passed them 
on to their successors who gave them a book form, saving them for 
all times to come. This second part of divine teachings is known as 
Hadith and sunnah. 

The Prophet % spent his years and died but he left behind, for 
ever, both parts of the teachings that he had brought for the 
guidance of mankind, the Qur'an and the Sunnah. Allah made 

1 6 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

hidden and manifest arrangements in every era so that they may be 
preserved and continue to bestow light. This, indeed, is a great sign 
of Allah and a living miracle of the Prophet S. 

Allah grows in the hearts of some of His slaves an inclination 
to serve the Book and the Sunnah is conformity with the 
requirement of the time and period. If we look at the way of 
preservation of the Book and the Sunnah from the time of the 
Prophet S onwards, we cannot help exclaim that there is Divine 
Hands behind it. 

It is part of the Divine plan which had made it a pre-requisite of 
deliverance and earning the pleasure of Allah to believe in the 
Prophet Qfc. to obey him and to adhere to his way of life. This 
prescription is for ever. And it meant that the Qur'an and the 
Sunnah should be preserved and handed down from generation to 

The Qur'an is preserved word by word, and no one, not even a 
non-Muslim, denies it. Allah also made arragnements to preserve 
the teachings of His Prophet S which, indeed pertain to the 
different departments of life. His whole life is preserved, the 
minutest details of his sayings, deeds, habits and morals, and all 
that being nothing but a pattern, an exposition, of the Qur'an. Allah 
inspired the Prophet's S followers to collect and compile the 
Ahadith. Although more than fourteen centuries have elapsed, 
these records continue to make the Prophet's 0 presence felt in 
our midst to this day. 

We must study the works on his life and his Ahadith. We will 
see him among us telling us how to behave from morning to 
evening, day in and day out, how to discharge our religious 
obligations and give rights of fellow-men and of Allah. 

In fact, we will know many things about him which we do not 
know of our close friends and next of kin. I explained to a 
non-Muslim scholar recently how every detail of the Prophet's life 
is preserved. And, I said to him. ' When my father died, 1 was 45 
years old which means that forty years of my life of understanding 
1 spent with him. In spite of that I do not know as much of my 
father as I do about the Prophet S through the Ahadith." 

The companions 4*> loved the Prophet S deeply and were well 



learned in faith. They talked to each other eagerly about every 
detail of the Prohet's life, what they had heard from him and seen 
him do. This was not unnatural, for, faith and love demanded this 
attitude, and it was a duty and an act of piety to convey the 
Prophet's iH message and thus gain the pleasure of Allah. Even in-' 
his times, Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'Aas and other 
Companions committed to writting what the Prophet iH said and 
did and had his permission for that. 1 

Khalifah Umar ibn Abdul Aziz instructed the tabi'een to 
compile the Ahadith from the sayings of the Companions 4^- 
Accordingly, Zuhri and Human ibn Munabbih and their pupils 
continued the task. Imam Maalik's Muwatta orginated then. Abdul 
Razzaq, Ibn Ali Shebb, Imam Ahmad and Humaydi are other 
names in this connection. 

Imam Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmizi, Nasa'i, Ibn 
Majah were among the Followers in this field. 

At the same time, a proper science was developed to examine 
the narrators. Their characters and antecedents were scrutinised 
and life-sketches of more than forty thousand narrators of Ahadith 
were prepared. This came to be known as Asma ar-Rijaal. 

General truths and principles were derived and formulated from 
the Traditions. Examples of these are found in the works of Imam 
Maalik, Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad and Shafi'ee. Imam Bukhari 
presented titles to the chapters of his compilations. 

The process continues to this day and the ulama have written 
commentaries and developed the base in other forms to serve the cause. 

Their responsibility increases in the present times with the 
influence of the west on our society. 

Shah Waliullah took the first step two hundred years ago to 
counter the western influence. His mommental work, the 
Hujjatullah al-Baligha is a complete guidance to the modern mind 
on Hadith and Sunnah. 

I have drawn largely on this book for the Ma'ariful Hadith . 
The differences of opinion among the ulama has been brought to 
light with utmost clarity showing that the different schools of 
thought in fiq h are branches or off shoots of the same tree or the 
O. Bukhari, Musnad, Ahmad, Abu Dawood. 
O. Urdu name of this book 

1 8 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

same river. There is no contradiction in them for they originate 
from the same source. Besides, I have endeavoured to explain and 
interpret the Ahadith with the modern-educated class in mind. 

I have avoided purely theoretical discussions deliberately, and 
restricted myself to the elucidation of the aim of the Traditions. Of 
course, when it seemed that it would benefit readers, I have gone 
into some details too on the controversial issues. 

Whatever I have achieved is though the Grace of Allah but 
assume responsibility for any wrong or an ill-advised comment. 

The fundamental aim in writing this work is to preach, instruct 
and inform. Hence, a literal translation and the strict structure of 
the sentence are not observed. The emphasis is on explaining the 
arrangement of subjects and Ahadith. 

The straying off the path in the present times includes the 
slogan of some people that only the Qur'an is the source of religion. 
The task of the Prophet $£> was only to bring the Qur'an, and ours 
is to abide by its commands. They say that nothing else is 
necessary, not even the sayings and example of the Prophet and 
we cannot base any command of Shari'ah on the Prophet's^ conduct. 

However, it is impossible and unreasonable to believe in such 
ideas: How can one believe in the Messenger of Allah yet not 
follow his guidance? What can we do? In the world of so many 
funny things, there is this funny theory too! Some educated people 
propound this unreasonable idea and are very loud about it! 

This mischief should have died its natural death but the western 
people, who take pleasure in creating mischief have found our 
atmosphere ideal to promote love of free thought and a 
disobedient, revolutionary temerament. Their influence gains 
ground day by day instead of dwindling. 

Therefore, I appealed to my benefactor and teacher, Maulana 
Habibur Rahman al-A'zami to write a foreward for this book and 
throw light on this subject. 

The Ma'ariful al-Hadith is a Collection of Ahadih. An urdu 
translation of the Ahadithand their explanation is provided for the 
Urdu knowing Muslims. 1 

Muhammad Mqnzoor Nu'mani 

O. The English Translation follows the Urdu text faithfully. 


By: Sheikh Habibur Rehman A'zami 

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful 

The Qur'an of course, is the base origon of Faith and the 
Shari'atK and among the fundamentals of the Divine Law its place 
is unique. But its purpose is only to lay down the principles. 
Elaboration and interpretation falls within the purview of the 
Sunnah 2 and Hadith? 

As all knowledgeable people are aware, the Qur'an was not sent 
down to the Muslims directly and outside the agency of the sacred 
Prophet m that they may study and follow it on their own or with 
the help of ordinary persons like themselves. On the other hand, 
before its revelation a Messenger was raised and the Qur'an was, 
then, sent down to him with the sole object the people do not read 
and interpret it according to their own knwledge and understanding 
but in the light of the Prophet's S guidance and exposition. The 
Qur'an itself says: 

And We have revealed unto 

thee the Remembrance (the ^UJ (jftji 3 jfij 
Book) that thou mayst explain ' ,*, f , , J -v 

to mankind that which hath JjiU 
been revealed for them, and u»Jh 
that haply they may reflect. 

(AINahl 16:44) 

Again, it was through the Qur'an that the mankind was 
informed of the place and functions of the Prophet 0. It was 
proclaimed repeatedly that the Prophet & would not only recite the 
verses and make the people remember them but also expoun d their 
O. The Islamic Law. — ~ 
©. The doings and practices of the Prohet Muhammad . 
©. Traditions of the Prophet. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

explain their wisdom. 

j&i <L4 is 

(niira'j-^J 1 ) 

meaning, unravel their mysteries and 
Even as We have sent unto you 
a Messenger from anong you, 
who reciteth unto you Our 
revelations and maketh you 
clean, and teach you the 
Scripture and wisdom, 
teacheth you that which ye 
knew not. (Al Baqarah 2:151) 

Allah varily hath shown to the 
believers by sending unto them 
a Messenger of their own who 
reciteth unto them His 
revelations, and maketh them 
clean, and teacheth them the 
Scripture and wisdom; 
although (before he came to 
them), they were in flagrant 
error. (Aal-e-Imran3:164) 

He is Who hath sent among the 
unlettered ones a Messenger of 
their own to recite unto them 
His revelations, and to make 
them clean, and to teach them 
the Scriture and wisdom, 
though heretofore they were, 
indeed, in error manifest. 

(Al Jumu'ah62:2) 

In all the three verses reproduced above two things have been 
mentioned distinctly, one apart from the other: (i) Recitation of the 
revelations; and (ii) Teachings of the Book 

As far as the recitation of the verse is concerned, its meaning is 
clear. But with the teaching of the Book it is otherwise and requres 
an elucidation. If it was to denote again the reading out of the 
Qur'an in a systematic manner and making people commit it to 
memory there would not have been the need to specify it as 
something different from the recitation of the verses. Evidently, it 




signified the explanation and interpretation of the Qur'anic verses 
and the exposition of their meaning, wisdom and commands. 

It is, as such, apparent from the Qur'an itself that just as the 
recitation and preachng of the Divine revelations forms the a part 
of duties of the holy Prophet 0, so, also does their exposition and 
interpretation. It follows, logically, that if the text of Qur'an is 
binding and absolute, its interpretation, as furnished by the Prophet 
S, is also the same, or else it will be meaningless to have charged 
him with the teaching of the Boiok and made it a part of his 
mission. In sum, on the basis of these Qur'anic pronouncements 
the sacred Prophet S is not only the Messenger of Allah but the 
teacher and interpreter of the Divine message also. 

Moreover, when the Prophet S role as the teacher and 
interpreter of the Divine revelations is established by the Qur'anic 
dicta and authoritative pronouncements no one who believes in his 
mission can deny that, with the recitation and propagation of the 
revelaions, he also explained their meaning and gave instruction in 
them. And since the Qur'an is the Last Word of Allah and the 
Prophet Muhammad 0, His Last Prophet, and no new Scripture or 
Prophet is now going to be sent down to mankind, it is essential 
stage, from the time of its revelation till the end of the world. 
Further , if the preservation of the Qur'an is vitally important, the 
continuance, transference and conservation of the Prophet's % 
verbals as well as practical explanation is equally necessary, at all 
times, for understanding it fully. 

We, therefore, conclude that: 

(i) On the basis of the Qur'anic dicta and pronouncements the 
holy Prophet S is the teacher, exponent and interpreter of the 

(ii) He explained and interpreted the Qur'anic verses in the same 
way as he recited and preached them; 

(iii) The continuance and preservation of his interpretation of the 
Qur'an is essential, side by side with its text. 

To this, we have to add that the Prophet H has taught the 
Qur'an in two ways. He has explained its meaning and supplied a 
verbal interpretation of it as well as shown the way of living and 
acting in accordance with the Qur'an by his own deeds and actions. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

The method of practical interpretation was that when a Qur'anic 
command was revealed, the Prophet 0 showed to the people what 
it meant by carrying it out himself. In this way, the precise import 
of the words of the Qur'an got determined and the practical form 
and design of the command also became clear. As for instance, the 
obligatory injucntion of the establishment of Salah (regular 
worship) was revealed in the Qur'an and some of its components 
part (like qiyam , ruku 2 , sujud 2 and qir'at A ) were also mentioned 
but the actual manner of observing Salah and the order in which 
the various acts connected with it were to be performed were not 
described anywhere in it. The particular form of offering up Salah, 
with a systematic arrangement of the various acts that went to 
make it, was, thus, left to be determined by the conduct of the 
Prophet S. 

On seeing the command: 

(ir:Y«yMl)SjUJl IjiJl 
and establish regular worship 
in the Qur'an, it is natural for one to ask how it was, after all, to be 
put into practice and what was the proper way of establishing 
Salah. The Prophet's iH exhortation: 

ik^j **** 1 y** 

"Offer Salah as you have seen me offering it," 
So to speak, holds the answer. 

Apart from the practical exposition of the command of 
establishing regualr worship, the Prophet, also, sometimes verbally 
explained how Salah was to be offered. 

Similarly, the Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah) was prescribed as a 
regilious duty in the Qur'an but its method and formalities were not 
defined. The Prophet % showed the correct way by performing the 
Hajj himself, and since the interpretation of the Qur'an could be 
possible only through his word or deed he declared openly at 
Arafat, on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj, when all the pilgrims 

O. Standing erect in prayer. 

©. Bowing the head in reverence. 

©. Act of prostration with the forehead touching the ground. 
O. Recitation of the Qur'an or a part thereof. 



we present, 

"O people! Learn the rites and ^ >J£ Jgjfo 
ceremonies of the Hajj from ' , 

me. It is possible that 1 may not f> 'j' 

see you after this year." 

Again, there were two forms of verbal explanaion. One was 
that after mentioning or alluding to a Qur'anic verse the Prophet %> 
would comment on it or state the law or injunction derive thereby, 
while the other method lay in explaining the meaning or purport he 
had deduced from the Qur'an, on the basis of his God-given 
knowledge and rare understanding, without referring to or 
indicating the verse. 

Of the numerous illustrations relating to the first category, we 
will here give only three, 
(i) The Messenger of Allah &, once said, "On the Day of Final 
Judement Allah will summon Nooh Nooh 9S§A will say, 
'Our Lord! I heard your call and obtained auspiciousness from 
it.' Allah will, then, ask, 'Had you conveyed Our Message?' 
'Yes', he will reply. It will, thereupon, be enquried from the 
community of Nooh $3, 'Had Nooh conveyed Our message 
to you? Wo Warner had come to us,' they will say. Allah will, 
then turn to Nooh and ask him, 'Who will be a witness on 
your behalf?' He will reply, Muhammad 0 and his followers'. 
After that the followers of Sayyidina Muhammad 0 will 
testify that Nooh had conveyed the message and the Prophet 
(i.e., I) will affirm it." Having said it, the Prophet 0 observed 
that this was the purport of the Divine revelation: 
Thus We have appointed you a , ' - 

(ii) Sayyidina Adi ibn Hatim 4&> enquired from the Prophet % 
whether the Qur'anic words al-Khaitul Aibaz and al-Khaitul 
Aswad meant two threads. The Prophet replied, 'No. They 
mean the darnkess of the night and the whiteness (i. e., light) 
O. Sahih Bukhari: Kitabut Tafsir as narrrated by Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri Jjt ^ 

middle nation, that ye may be 
witness against mankind and 
that the Messenger may be a 
witness aganist you. 1 



Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

of the morning. 1 

(iii) During the journey of Hudaibiya a large number of lice had 
come to infest the hair of Ka'b ibn 'Ajra 4&>. When Prophet 0 
saw the parasitic insects he said to him "I did not know you 
were in such great trouble. Can you procure a goat?" Ka'b 
replied that he could not. The Prophet H, remarked, "Alright, 
you shave your head and keep fast on three days or give a 
Sa'a 2 of foodgrains each to six needy men." 3 
No verse is mentioned in the narration of the above event but 
since the verse: 

And whosoever among you is - >\ \ . > * >>\ -.^ "U, 

was revealed in the context of the same incident, we have included 
it in the present discussion. 

The latter category of the verbal exposition of the meaning of 
the Qur'an constitutes a major part of the Traditions or, at least, a 
large number of It is another matter that due to our stolidity and 
incompetence we may not be able to trace their Qur'anic origion. 
There is, however, no death of Traditions whose Qur'anic source 
becomes evident on a little study and deliberation. Let us take up 
two of them here, 
(i) The Prophet iH once said: 
"No one of you can be true in lk ' " V 

have brought." 

Clearly, the above Tradition is derived from the following 
verses of the Qur'an: 

But nay, by thy Lord, they will 

not believe (in truth) until they *i j 

make thee judge of what is in ^ , , * V"^" 
dispute between them and find M" 5 ** J*^* 

O. Ibid. ! 

©. A grain measure of about 3Vi to 4 kilograms. 
© . Saheeh Bukhari 

sick or hath an ailment of the 
head must pay a ransom of 
fasting or alms-giving or 
offering. (Al Baqarah 2: 1 96) 

his faith unless his desire is 
subordinated to the guidance I 



within themselves no dislike of 
that which thou decidest, and 
submit with full submission. Uli^J ^y^i j C~Ja* 

(Al Nasaa 4:65) ("\o:t .«.U-Jt) 

And it becometh not a «/« 
believing man or a believing 
woman, when Allah and His 63*4 6' 0*' iS** 

Messenger have decided an 
affair (for them), that they 
should (after that) claim any ( rvrr t^') 
say in their affair (i.e., after the verdict of Allah and the Prophet 
the duty of the Believers lay only in submitting and obeying) 

(ii) A Tradition of the Prophet $1 says: 
"Anyone whom Allah has , , 

given the provision needed for tf\ ^13 *— <>* 
the journey and a means of ,\ »\* £i * 'V -..i - " 
transport which can take him to ' ' 

the House of Allah (at £j\ jjaj jl ^ J*i 

Makkah), if he fails to peform ^1* csJLtjJi oijj) 

the Hajj then it does not matter (iuui jP^jUJiaijjU 

whether he dies a Jew or a 

About this Tradition it is indicated in Tirmizi itself that it is 
derived from the Qur'anic verse: 

And Pilgrimage to the House is ^-j, * A, U Jjj 

aduty unto Allah formankind. - 
(Aal-e-imran,3:97) (^YTj^jT) 

But as only a part of the verse has been mentioned in the 
narrative many people find it difficult to appreciate its pertinence. 
If the whole verse is kept in view the warning contained in the 
Tradition can distinctly be read in the last part of it. The verse 

And Pilgrimage to the House is k 
duty unto Allah for mankind, Ja c4«Jl <jAJl i J£ 4l3j 
for him who can find a way \ * , „„* „ - 
thither. And for him who .flU/wV^ 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

disbelieveth, (let him know , , t , , 

that) lo ! Allah is Indepndent of >s?& 
(all) creatures. (Aal-e-Imran3:97) OY:r oV* J*) 

In fact, most of the sayings of the Prophet ill are an 
explanation of or a derivation from the Qur'an which forms a part 
of his mission on the authroity of Divine pronouncement like: 

That thou mayst explain to m ,. Yj jiK ^>\&\&& 
mankind that which hath been * ** } ' ' 
revealed for them. 

We have revealed to you the LlJ 'ZA 

reminder that you may make ' ^ -^y- 

clear to men what has been (ti :11 JmJ) 
revealed to them.(AnNahl 16:44) 

These maxims, again, tell us that the Prophet's & expositions, 
derivations and interpretations, too, are worthy of acceptance and 

Teachings of 'Wisdom ' 

The teachings of 'wisdom', also, has been declared to be a 
function of the Prophet & along with the teachings of the 

For a proper realisation of the meaning of the word 'wisdom' we 
will first refer to the Qur'an itself which contains numerous verses 
denoting that 'wisdom', too, was one of things revealed by God. In 
surah al-Nisa, for example, it is said: 

Allah revealeth unto thee the CjQ&S \^£$p %\ Jjilj 
scritpure and wisdom, and 
teacheth thee that which thou 

knewest not. The grace of ^ ^ *y ^ ^ 
Allah toward thee has been - 0 J * 

infinite. (Al-Nissa4: 1 13) ( I I r;C »LmJ|) lllkp 

And, in surah al-Baqarah, it is set forth: 

And remember Allah's grace ^ J^jj. fa ^ 
upon you and that which He " ' f 

hath revealed unto you of the <r><&\ # JjJI 
Scripture and of wisdom, 

whereby He doth exhort you. tyr^^' < *J 

(AlBaqarah2:231) < rr 1 : f *>> 



From surah-Ahzab we learn that with the verses of the Qur'an, 
'wisdom', also, was recited in the apartments of the pious wives of 
the Prophet. 

And bear in mind that which is 
recited in your houses of the 
revelations of Allah and S*£^1} j&1 otf 

wisdom. (Al Ahzab 33 : 34) (rr-.rr 

Now, what else was read out in the houses of Prophet's 
wives apart from the Scripture? And what other thing did the 
Prophet ill recite to his pious wives besides the Qur'an? It could be 
nothing but his own Sunnah and Traditions (i.e., general religious 
advice and religious observations and exhortatins), and since uie 
command given in this verse is to bear in mind wisdom, the 
necessity of learning by heart the Sunnah and the Traditions is 
self-evident. It is, moreover, incontrovertible that knowledge, 
recitation and learning by heart are not an end in themselves but 
their real object is action. Thus, from the above Tradition the 
obligatoriness of acting upon the Sunnah and the Traditions, also, 
become manifest. 

Besides, when 'wisdom' is simply another name of Sunnah, it is 
established from the three verses reproduced earlier (in which 
'wisdom' is stated to be a Divine revelation like the Scripture) that 
Sunnah, too, was directly taught by the Almighty Creator to His 

As we turn from the Qur'an to its teacher it becomes clear again 
that there was another thing, aside of the Qur'an, i.e., 'wisdom' 
which was revealed by Allah to the Prophet iH>. Says he: 

The Qur'an was bestowed upon * *r, ^ 

me, and, along with it, another ' 

thing which was similar to if" * ^ jU, ' J '** -J ? 

(o jSsf JU* jt f UaJI 

In view of these pronouncements, both of the Qur'an and the 
Sunnah, the theological doctors of Islam are agreed that the word 
'wisdom' occuring in, 

And teacheth you the Scripture U&Jf. Ol^Jl J ijfc 

and wisdom. (Al Baqarah 2:129) # ' 

O. Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Darami on the authority of Miqdam ibn Ma'idi 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

and in other corresponding verses denotes the Sunnah, and, further, 
that the Sunnah, too, is a kind of Divine revelation. Allamah Ibn 
Qaiyyim, for instance, remarks: 1 

J c£JUl ^ft" ^Ui Jllj (\ \r:t tUJl) "2U5cJlj »_>u£Jt t-SLAp 
"U&*Jl j (ij'^J J j^jy tfU j^gJp I jAai ^ j j-I^I 

ill Obi jA^jtjJ jOp JbuU £^41/ J^J (Y:1Y 
JL-Jl ^ i*£»Jlj jiyJl j« ols&lj (ri:rr V'j^i) "i*&*Jlj 
«b ^UjVIj **iJl*3 *_j ^-j ^ ill jP J^*i jJ'j^I b> j ciLJl JliJb 

JaI <Up jiiA J^>1 IJU aJ ^LJ ^ ^JUJ v^ 1 ^ j^ - ' 
^ts&l c-Jjl ^l J@*t y-Jl Jli oi j ^ ^ ^ ?l a l 

"Allah, the Glorious One, sent down two kinds of revelations to 
His Prophet and made it obligatory to believe in and act 
upon both of them. These are the Qur'an and wisdom." (The 
Allamah then quotes the verses referred to by us earlier in his 
support and goes on to say that) "that 'Scripture' mentioned in 
them means the Qur'an and 'wisdom' in the unanimous opinion 
of the pious precursors, the Sunnah. What the Prophet W> 
communicated after knowing about it from Allah and what, 
Allah revealed thorugh the tongue of His Prophet iH are equally 
required to be accepted. It is a fundamental and universally 
accepted principle among the Muslims and whoever denies it is 
not one of them. The Prophet himself, has said: The Qur'an 
was bestowed upom me, and along with it, another thing which 
was similar to it'." 

Way of the Prophet 

It should have been clear by now that the Believer is religiously 
bound to accept as true the Prophet's 0 interpretation and 
elucidation of the Qur'anic verses as well as the 'wisdom' revealed 

O. Abu Dawood, Kitabur- Rooh. p. 92. 



to him by Allah. Together with it, the Qur'an has enjoined upon 
him to emulate dutifully the example of a perfectly religious and 
Islamic life, as presented to the world by the sacred Prophet iH. In 
surah Ahzab, it is stated: 

Verily in the Messenger of j - * ^ >J$ & 

Allah ye have a good example ' \ 

of him who looketh into Allah fj^'j'-^ 1 1 yr'ji J+\ * i - *• 
and the Last Day and >tf 
remembereth Allah much. ~ 

(Al Ahzab 33 : 21) (YVTTv»j^l) 
The Believers are, thus, commanded to follow in the steps of 
the Prophet in all the spheres of life. It is not only in war or other 
situations of distress that the duty of keeping in mind the ideals of 
patient, perservance and fortitude upheld by him has been 
prescribed, as some people have been misled into believing about 
the verse we have just seen, for it is patently unreasonable that the 
Prophet's iH conduct may be worthy of emulation at the time of 
war but not in conditions of peace or that while we have a good 
example in his life where Jihad is concerned, there is nothing in it 
for us to take a pattern by in matters the establishment of Salah and 
the performance of Hajj. 

At another place, a more sweeping and unqualified command to 
follow the example of the Prophet 0 has been given to those who 
profess love for the Almighty. 
Say, (O Muhammad, to 

mankind):lf ye love Allah ^jM* h y?? C)\ J* 
follow me. Allah will love you ' ^ ^ i^J^ 

and forgive you your sins. (n.r j^** J ) ^tfH 


Here, the emulation of the example of the Prophet £H has been 
declared unequivocally to be the criterion of love for Allah and if 
those who believe in the Qur'an were not bound to do so, as a 
matter of course, why should Allah have directed the Prophet to tell 
mankind to follow his example? 

It is absured to suggest that the words follow me in the above 
imply only this much that people should listen to the Qur'an the 
Prophet recited to them. Such a meaning of 'emulation' or 'taking 
after' or 'following in the steps' is not to be found in any language. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

The phrase invariably denotes abidance by the conduct of someone 
and the modelling of one's life after his characteristic behaviour. 

It should be apparent that believers in the Qur'an are not 
required to accept it in an abstract way, to interpret it according to 
their own lights and to act upon it as they may deem proper; but are 
called upon to believe in 'wisdom' also, side by side with the 
Qur'an, and to regard the Prophet & to be a perfect model for 
inspiration and imitation in all the domains of existence. It is, 
further, demanded of them not to seek to understand the Qur'an 
independently of the Prophet $1 but strictly in the light of his 
teachings and expositions. 

We conclude that what the Holy Prophet $1 taught about the 
Qur'an, and the meanings he explained of it, and the 'wisdom' that 
was revealed to him by Allah, and his whole life, a complete record 
of which has been made available to us by the blessed ones who 
were fortunate enough to observe him from the closest quarters, are 
the things that are known as the Sunnah and Hadith, and their 
being worthy of acceptance, on the strength of authoritative 
pronouncements contained in the Book of Allah, implied, in other 
words, that the Qur'an held that the Sunnah and the Traditions must 
be believed in and observed in practice by all those who put their 
trust in it. 

Another Qur'anic Proof of The 
Peremptoriness of the Traditions 

Are the Traditions peremptory, conclusive and binding? Or, can 
a Muslim ignore or reject them? There is also another way of 
settling it which, again, has been shown by the Qur'an itself by 
making it obligatory for people to adhere to the path of the 
Believers." It says: 

And who so opposeth the •+ J^Jl Cf) 

Messenger after the guidance ' / t 4 \ " „ 

(of Allah) hath been manifested 
unto him, and followeth other 
than the Believers' way, We 
appoint for him that unto which 
he himself hath turned, and 



expose him unto Hell- a hopless journey's end! (Al Nisaa 4:115) 
In the above verse, a stern warning has been administered to 
those who follow other than the Believers' way and they have been 
condemned as deserving of the penalty of Fire. It needs be 
ascertained, in this condition, what the 'Believers' way' was? Did 
they hold the sayings and doings of the holy Prophet $ (i.e, 
Sunnah and the Traditions) to be conclusive as a source of law and 
regarded them as the guiding principles of life or not? When we 
turn to Islamic history and tradition to find out how the earliest 
Muslims conducted themselves in this regard the following 
incidents attaract our attention. 

(i) It is stated in Tarikh-ul-Khulfa 1 that whenever a dispute 
came up before Sayyidina Abu Bakr 4fr he, first of all, looked into 
the Qur'an and decided the case accordingly, if he found it there. If 
he did not find it in the Qur'an, he referred to the practice of the 
Prophet A and decided the case accordingly. If he failed to find it 
there also, he enquired from the other Companions about it, and 
if they informed him of any decision of the Prophet & in the 
matter he thanked Allah and decided accordingly. But if the 
Companions failed to cite any decision of the Prophet m, 
Sayyidina Abu Bakr collected the leaders of the people and 
sought their advice, and after they had arrived at an agreed 
decision, he decided according to it. On such an occasion 
Sayyidina Abu Bakr 4fe used to exclaim: 

"Praise be to Allah Who hath 

created among us men who j* Uli J*£ <j&\ aAJ <i**Jl 
remember the sayings of the {.*\" Lxi*. 

Prophet ft. \~*je>±*~i 

(ii) The first and most preplexing problem to arise after the 
death of the Prophet 'ft was about his successor. The Companions 
4s> sought its solution, too, in the Sunnah of the Prophet ft. 

In books like Tabaq Ibn Sa'dd and Tarikhul Khulfa, Sayyidina 
AH 4&> is reported to have said, "On the Prophet's ft death we 
deliberated over the difficulty (i. e., the question of succession) and 
felt that in his life-time the Prophet ft had appointed Abu Bakr 
to lead the Salah (i.e., to function as Imam). 2 Hence, we chose for 
O. p29 ©. Meaning leader. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

our world whom the Prophet 0 had chosen for our faith and made 
Abu Bakr 4§& his successor." 

It is, further related in Tarikhul Khulfe, on the authority of Ibn 
Masud, that on the death of the Prophet 0 the Ansars 1 were heard 
saying, "There should be one Amir (i.e., Leader) (i.e., the Mahajirs 
or emigrants)." Upon it, Sayyidina Umar went to Ansars and 
said, "O Anasar! Don't you know that the Prohet ill had appointed 
Abu Bakr <^> to lead the Salah? If you do, tell me who has the heart 
to take preedence over Abu Bakr 4^?, On hearing it, the eyes of 
the Ansars opened and they cried out vehemently, 

We seek the refuge in Ailah 

against taking precedence over \j\ {Xhi 

Abu Bakr ' ' 

In other words, when the Sunnah of Prophet was brougth to 
the knowledge of the Ansars, they were satisfied and accepted it 

In the same book it is also stated that on the death of the 
Prophet S, Sayyidina Abu Bakr 4fe addressed the following words 
to Sayyidina Sa'd 4^> in the course of a public speech, "Sa'd! You 
know, you were present when the Prophet 0 had once said, 'Rule 
and authroity in this matter vests with the Quraish'." Sayyidina Sa'd 
replied at once, "You are right." We will be ministers and 
supporters and you will be the rulers (meaning when the Ansars 
were reminded of the Prophet's utterance they gave up the idea 
of Caliphate)." 

(iii) Another problem to arise on the death of the Prophet 
was concerning his burial. There was a disagreement over the place 
where his body should be laid to rest, and it, too, was setled in 
accordance with the Traditions. 

In the book mentioned above, as well as in some other books 
like Tarikh Kamil 2 it is stated that when the dispute arose, 
Sayyidina Abu Bakr 4^> related that he had heard the Messenger of 
Allah say, "A Prophet is buried under (the roof of) the apartment of 
his in which he breathes his last." All the differences disappeared 

O. Meaning helpers. It is applied to the inhabitants of Madinah who first 

embraced Islam. 
©.Vol. II, p. 225 



immediately after it and the Prophet 0 was buried, by general 
consent, in the sacred ground of the room in which he had died, 
(iv) A most important event in the history of Islam is that of the 
compilation of the Qur'an. When it was suggested by Sayyidina 
Umar to Sayyidina Abu Bakr that the whole of the Qur'an 
should be put together and preserved between the two covers of a 
single volume, the latter initially hesitated. 
"How can I undertake a task," 

he would say, again and again, ilii; 'A ^ j£\ 

"Which the Prophet S himself < „ * * 

did not take in hand?" (^3 **** & J**# s 

Later, when Sayyidina Abu Bakr ^ was convinced, he wanted to 
assign the work to Sayyidina Zayd ibn Thabit But he, too, was 
hesitant for the same reason. When, however, Allah caused him 
bosom to open up and brought certainty to his mind about the 
correctness of the stand taken by the two sheikhs (i.e Sayyidina 
Abu Bakr 4& and Sayyidina Umar he consented. 

The object of narrating the above incidents here is to underline 
the fact that the holy companions <^> habitually sought guidance 
from the Sunnah of the Prophet at each step. 

(v) It is stated in Imam Maalik's Muwatta that the grandmother 
of a person who had died came to Sayyidina Abu Bakr and 
claimed her share in the property left behind by him. Sayyidina 
Abu Bakr said to her, 

"Your claim is not established 

by the Qur'an and I am also not u -> ts* * ^ J ^ u 

aware of anything in the j ^ j ^ 

Sunnah of the Prophet.... to ' 

support your claim. You should, u*^ J^ - ' ^ t^J^ ^ 

therefore, go back at present so that I may enquire from other 


Afterwards, when he made the enquiry he was told by 
Sayyidina Mughirah that the Prophet S had in his presence 
awarded one- sixth of the deceased to his grandmother. Sayyidina 
Abu Bakr then, asked him to bring a witness to support him in 
his narration, and Sayyidina Muhammad ibn Maslamah 4& 

supported Sayyidina Mughirah Sayyidina Abu Bakr 4^ 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

accepted the Hadith and allotted one-sixth of the legacy to the 

(vi) When the land of Parsis was annexed to the Islamic State, 
Sayyidina Umar ^ was seized with the question whether Jazyah 
could be levied on them or not (as in the Qur'an it is mentioned that 
Jazyah could be realised from the People of the Scripture alone 
which, in its terminology, applied only to the Jews and the 
Christians). It was only when Sayyidina Abdul Rahman ibn 'Auf 4* 
testified that the Prophet 0 had realised Jazyah from the 
fire-worshippers of Hajr therefore Sayyidina Umar <&> imposed it 
on the Parsis. 

(vii) It is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari that once a person 
enquired from Sayyidina Ibn-e-Abbas if a woman gave birth to 
a child only forty days after the death of her husband would her 
Iddat 2 be deemed to have expired with it. Sayyidina Ibn-e-Abbas 
4&> replied that the period of waiting will terminate at child-birth or 
completion of four months and ten days, whichever is later. 
Sayyidah Salamah i** & ^ and Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah 4& were 
also present at that time. On hearing the decision of Sayyidina 
Ibn-e-Abbas Sayyidina Abu Salamah 4& pointed out that it was 
set forth in the Qur'an that: 

And for those with child, their £ JU^fi ^'jtj 

period shall be till they bring ' * , t 

forth their burden .(Al-Talaq65:4) (Crl 6> J-jUdl) cf^i 

What Sayyidina Abu Salamah intended to signify was that in 
the case at hand the period of waiting had ended. Sayyidina Abu 
Hurayrah 4&>, too, said that he agreed with the view of his nephew, 
Abu Salamah. Sayyidina Ibn-e-Abbas then, sent his slave, 
Karib, to Sayyidah Umm-Salamah who, on learning about the 
nature of the case, remarked that: 

"Sabree'a Aslamia was in the family way when her husband was 
martyred. Forty days after it, her child was born and offers of 
marriage began to come to her. The holy Prophet 0>, got her 

O. A tax levied by the Islamic State on its non- muslims in subjects. 
©. The time of probation (four months and ten days) which a divorced or a 
widowed woman must wait before she can be re-married. 



Commenting on it, Hafiz Ibn-e-Hajr writes: "It is said that 
Sayyidina Ibn Abbas 4i^> changed his opinion as a result of it and it 
is also supported by the fact that the statement of his disciples is in 
accord with the view of the general body of Muslims." 

The practice of the holy Companions d&> to take recourse to the 
Sunnah of the Prophet $1 in the event of a difference of opinion or 
an apparent contradiction between two verses of the Qur'an is born 
out clearly by the above incidents. 

(viii) Hostilities had been suspended, for a certain period of 
time, due to an agreement between the Roman Empire and 
Sayyidina Mu'awiyah When the period of truce was about to 
exprie, Sayyidina Mu'awiyah began to march with his army 
towards the enemy territory with the idea that he would not restart 
the war during the specified time but get close to the enemy and 
launch a sudden attack at the end of the stipulated period. One day 
Mu'awiyah saw a rider coming in his direction, calling out loudly: 
"Allah-u-Akbar! Allah-u-Akbar\ The covenant is to be kept, not 
broken!" On a careful look, people discovered that he was a 
Companion of Messenger of Allah $ named, Sayyidina Amr ibn 
Absa 4&>. Sayyidina Mu'awiyah asked him what was the matter. 
He replied, "I have heard the Messenger of Allah 0 say that when 
anyone entered into a covenant with a community he should not 
make an alteration in it till its time had expired or advance 
information had been given to the other party." Sayyidina 
Mu'awiyah returned to the capital with his troops. 

(ix) Once Sayyidina Umar set out for Syria from Madinah. 
On reaching the place called Sargh, he was informed by the 
commanders of the army that plauge had broken out violently in 
that country. He consulted with the Muhajirs and Ansars accompa- 
nying him but divergent views were expressed. Some of them were 
in favour of returning while the others felt that it was out of the 
question for they had embraked on the journey in the cause of 
Allah. On seeing the disagreement, Sayyidina Umar asked them 
to leave and called for Quraishi Muhajrin Fath. ] When they came, 
they unanimously supported the idea of going back. Sayyidina 
Umar jfe consequently, decided to return but Sayyidina Abu 
O. The Quraish who had migrated to Madinah after the Conquest of Makkah. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

Ubaidah 4^e> did not agree. Sayyidina Umar and the others 
were caught in the dilemma when Sayyidina Abdur Rahman ibn 
'Auf <&> turned up. He had not participated in the consultation, and 
was, therefore, unaware of the problem. On being told about the 
difficulty, he observed, "I know a thing in this regard." "You are 
reliable and trustworthy. Tell us what you know," said Sayyidina 
Umar 4&. Abdur Rahman ibn Auf 4$> said that he had heard the 
Prophet % say: "When you come to know that an epidemic is 
raging at some place do not go there. But if the epidemic breaks 
out at a place you live in do not move out of it with the intention of 

Upon it, the disagreement was removed and Sayyidina Umar 
returned to Madinah. 

. (x) In Tarikh Kamil, Tarikh Khulafa and other history books it 
is stated that on the death of Sayyidina Umar 4$>, Sayyidina Abdur 
Rahman ibn Auf 4&> and the rest of the Companions & chose 
Sayyidina Uthman 4&> as the Caliph and took the vow of allegiance 
at his hand in these words: 

We take the oath of allegiance ^ fa ^ j^u 

at your hand on the condition 

that you will act in accordance *W d-s««W r 1 J 

with the Scripture (i.e., the Qur'an), the Sunnah of the Prophet 

% and the practice of the two earlier Caliphs." 

These ten examples are, in truth, a handful out of immerable 
specimens. We could have cited any number of them but for a 
fair-minded person these should be enough. Taking them into 
account no one endowed with a sense of justice can deny that the 
confirmed practice of the earliest Muslims was to seek guidance 
from the Sunnah and the Traditions in all the walks of life. 

Someone might suggest that the sources of the foregoing 
discussion on the Believers' way were treatises on history and 
Traditions that were written after the life time of the Companions 
!&, and therefore, reliance could not be placed upon them. It 
cannot be that the Qur'an, the injunction and command to believe 
and act on it remain in force but we cannot ascertain the Believers 
way. And continue to entertain such a notion is like denying the 
Qur'an and to suggest it as impracticable which, what to speak of a 



Muslim, no sane and educated non-believer would venture to 
suggest. As long as the path of following the Qur'an remains open, 
free access to the Believers' way will also be there and the means to 
obtain a comlete knowledge of it will stay unchanged, and, if it is 
so, what other course can be possible for acquiring detailed 
informed regarding the practice of the earliest Muslims than to 
refer to the compilations of Traditions and books on Tabaqat 1 , 
Asma-al-Rijal 2 , history and life-record of the Prophet J§&? 

To declare these sources of knowledge as unreliable, false and 
fictious, would, as such, mean to shut the door of practical 
adherence to the Qur'an. Besides, the superiority Islam and 
Muslims enjoyed over all other faiths and religious communities 
would also be destroyed because it would necessarily show that the 
Muslims possessed no history nor were there any intellectual or 
practical attainments to their credit nor a dependable way of 
knowing about those achievements. Surely, no Muslim could 
accept that position. 

How strange is the behaviour of some of the deniers of the 
Traditions in this respect that they believe history to be true but 
hold the Hadith to be untrustworthy although the historians neither 
care to indicate about each even as to how and through what 
sources they denied the knowledge nor observe the conditions 
prescribed and adopted by the Traditionists for testing the 
authenticity of those reports? Is it not ridiculous that chornological 
narratives of past events should be acceptable but not the standard 
collections of the Traditions while it is strictly laid down for their 
compilers that they must narrate in unbroken succession the 
sources through which each and every report of the sayings and 
doing of the Prophet i& or events and circumstances relating to the 
Companions came to their knowledge, and, further that these 
sources should be such that conclusive evidence of their veracity, 
fairness and reliablity was available? 

Further, to reject the Traditions as unreliable, despite solid and 
irrefutable proofs of their genuiness and authenticity, is to say that 

O. Dealing with the grades of the narrators of the Traditions as regards the chain 

of transmitters and general agreement. 
©. Biography and criticism of the narrators of the Traditions. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

their collectors and compilers have put down incorrect and 
imaginary reports, with spurious references and concocted chain of 
narrators, in their books. These critics and fault-finders should ask 
themselves whether no "genuine" Muslim was present at the time 
of the collection of Ahadith 1 who could challange the fraud and 
condemn it. 

Take Muwatta, for example. According to Abu Talib this 
volume of Traditions was compiled in 120 or 130 AH., i.e., 1 10 or 
120 years after the death of the Prophet. Till about 13 or 23 years 
"before its compilation venerable Companions who had the good 
fortune to have seen or head the Prophet $1 directly were alive 
while the number of Tabi'een i.e., those who followed immediately 
the Companions and profited from their society, was legion. Leaving 
alone the Islamic territories of Hijaz, Syria, Egypt and Iraq, in 
Madinah itself, where the book (Muwatta) took shape, the Tabi'een 
were too many to be counted. We will give the names of a few: 





Ishaq ibn Abdullah ibn Abi Talha 

(136 AH) 


Ismail ibn Muhammad Abi Zuhri 

(134 AH) 


Rabi'a ibn Abu Abdur Rahman 

(129 AH) 


Zahid ibn Aslam 

(136 AH) 


Salim ibn Abu Umayyah 

(129 AH) 


Sa'd ibn Ishaq 

(140 AH) 


Sa'eed ibn Abu Sa'eed Al-Maqburi 

(123 AH) 


Salamah ibn Dinar 

(140 AH) 


Shareek ibn Abdullah ibn Abu Namir 

(140 AH) 


Saleh ibn Kaysan 

(140 AH) 


Safwan ibn Sulaim 

(124 AH) 


Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr ibn Abu Hazm 

(135 AH) 


Abdullah ibn Dinar 

(127 AH) 


Abd Zinad 

(130 AH) 


Abdur ibn Sa'eed 

(139 AH) 


Muhammad ibn Al-Munkadir 

(131 AH) 


Muhzama ibn Sulaiman 

(130 AH) 


Musa ibn Aqaba 

(141 AH) 


Wahb ibn Kaysan 

(127 AH) 

O. Plural of Hadith 






xanya ion oaeeo, ^azi 01 JviaGinan 

(143 AH) 


i azia ion Koman 

(130 AH) 


X aziu ion Auuuiian ion Ldisi 

(130 AH) 

1 Will I 

^AAlll J 

ni&ailiii lull yJi wail 

(145 AH) 


Miswar ibn Rifa'ah 

(138 AH) 


Abu Tuwalah, Qazi of Madinah 

(132 AH) 

Apart from the connection of instruction and training, the 
relative position in time of the Tabi'een in respect of the Prophet 
0 was as obtains in the lineal order between the grandchildren and 
the grandfather. Thus, even if the bond of teaching and instruction 
did not exists, the people of that era should have got acquainted, in 
the normal course of things, with numerous details of the Prohet's 
0 life as the grandchildren do about the character, habits and 
actions of their grandfather without making a delibrate effort. 

Now, consider that at such a time and in such circumstances 
and in the presence of these people and, above all, at a place where 
the last ten years of the Prophet's life were spent and there was 
hardly a home which had not come under his influence and bore an 
association with him, in one way or the other, a man by the name 
of Imam Maalik makes a collection of his sayings and reads them 
out openly, in that very town, and thousands of persons come from 
all over the Islamic World and listen to it and many of them also 
make out copies of it and take them home and transmit its contents 
to tens and thousnads of men, yet not a single Muslim says that all 
these Traditions or a large part of them are false and fabricated. 

Even if Imam Maalik was a liar could he have dared do such a 
thing in those circumstances, and supposing that he did go to that 
extent, was it possible that all the people of Madinah passively 
accepted the fabrication and remained silent spectators to the 
making of a gradulent addition to Faith and its endless 

(What is with you. How do you 

judge?) (Al Saffat, 37: 1 54) ( i or otiUJt)0>i&^ ^ 

Imam Maalik, moreover, has indicated the names of the 
twenty-five aforementioned Tabi'een and of a few other Madinans 
as the sources who had related the Traditions to him. If it is 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

accepted for argument's sake that the Imam had been guilty of 
falsehood and misrepresentation, these persons, who were alive at 
that time, would not have allowed him to get away with it. 

In a word, to condemn Muwatta or the other standard 
compilations of the Traditions and their chain of transmitters as 
wholly inaccurate is not only the height of perdition but it also 
stupid and ignorant. 

(And he for whom Allah has if .*£? »\ >\ *\u 

not made a light has no light). * ^ ^ * ^ f** r & 

(AINoor 24:40) (i-iYtjjJl) 
For that reason, no one before the currect era ventured' to make 
such a change. On the contrary, these collections have, from the 
time of their compilation, consistently been recognised as correct 
and authentic. A very large number of learned men have heard 
them from their seniors and also related them to others. Muwatta, 
too, was read out by Imam Maalik himself to nearly a thousand 
persons, as Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi says in his book entitled, 
Bustan-ul-Muhadditheen. Suyuti, also, in the Preface of 
Tanvir-ul-Hawalik has mentioned the names of about fifty persons 
who narrated Muwatta after hearing it directly from Imam Maalik. 
The process has been going on uninterruptedly up to the present 
time and people have been narrating it from those persons in the 
same way but on a much larger scale. 

Against it, is hard to understand why people who want only to 
reject the Traditions do not realise that every living community 
instinctively wants to safeguard its heritage and does its utmost to 
preserve the relics and the memory of the attainments of its 
illustrious ancestors. Such being the case, how can it be that the 
Muslims who are the best of the peoples and distinguished in the 
world for their love of learning and other commendable qualities of 
mind and character did not take steps to preserve the life-record 
and sayings of, what to speak of others, their own Prophet S? 

Besides, if there be no other authentic source of knowledge 
than the Qur'an and the reports of the sayings and doings of the 
Prophet S are rejected untrustworthy then the meaning and 
significance of many of the verses of the Qur'an itself will remain 
unclear and incomplete. For instance, it is set forth in the Qur'an: 



So when Zayd had performed 

the necessary formality (of l^tj \£> Jj] t'iji 
divorce) from her, We gave " 
her unto thee in marriage. ( r -^ rr V 1 ^ 1 ) 

(AlAhzab 33:37) 

Can the full significance of this verse be appreciated without 
recourse to the Traditions and placing reliance upon them? Or, is it 
possible to know wholly from the Qur'an who Zayd was, who was 
his wife, and what did actually take place. To take up another 
■verse. It reads: 

He frowned and turned away 

because the blind man came tJt&Wtfe ' ji^Jj J^p 
unto him. What could inform ^ ~i , 
thee but that he might grow (in ir«H *^ j 

grace)? (Abasa80:l-3) (V.T«\ :A. 

Can it be found out solely from the Qur'an who the blind man 
was and with whom was the Prophet S engaged in conversation at 
that time? 

Likewise, once the whole stock of the Traditions is discarded 
as useless and unreliable what other way will be open to us for 
knowing the details of the events mentioned in the Qur'an 
concerning the battles of Ahzab, Hunain etc.? 
Once again, we read in the Qur'an: 
And when Allah promised you '"-.ftY * *>> - 
one of the two bands that it ' r - 

should be yours. (AIAnfal8:7) (^l:A Jliil) ^ ll^jt 

Can anyone tell simply from the Qur'an what the two bands 
were? Or, where can one find in it the promise that Allah recalls? If 
it is not contained in the Qur'an there must also be some other kind 
of revelations coming down to the Prophet S from Allah. 

Or, the Qur'an says: 

When ye were on the near bank .s.* u t. 

and they were on the yonder ' ' J ^ 

bank, and the caravan was ji^t j 

below you. (Al Anfal 8:42) *./ 


Will any of the rejectors of the Traditions explain entirely from 
the Qur'an what all this is about? Where were the near and yonder 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

banks situated and what was the caravan that is said to have been 
halting below? 

The Qur'an, further, proclaims: 

Allah hath given you victory on v -g - y » >yfa >>-<^ & 

many fields. (Al Tawabah 9:25) ' ^ ™ ^ 


After rejecting the Traditions is there any other source from 
which one can know about the many fields spoken of in the above 


In the same way, it is stated in the Qur'an: 
If ye help him not, still Allah 

helped him when those who il %\ SjJai Jiii ij^itf 4\ 
disbelieve drove him forth, the ^ , , * 
second of two: when they, two «j* J " ^rjf^ 
were in the cave, when he said <l^L*J J^it jUll J UJ& 
unto his comrade:Grieve not. ''' ' ,/ ' ' „ '„ 
Lo! Allah is with us. *<y) WA» £l 1'yki *i 

(Al Tawbah 9:40) 

From where was the Prophet driven out? Who was the other 
companion with him? In which cave were the two hiding? Can the 
Qur'an, by itself, answer these questions? And is there any other 
way of learning about it expect from the Traditions? 

A place of worship which was 

founded upon-duty (to Allah) j£ J^il JbjiJUJ 

from the first day is more 4 ^ ,* 

worthy that thou shouldst stand » t& & 1 ^ <Jj' 
(to pray) therein, wherein are Jj?^: J'rj 

men who love to purify " ' 

themselves. (Al Tawabah 9:108) ('* A ^*<y) 

But, which place of worship? Who were the men to has been 
extolled in this verse? Surely, the Qur'an alone cannot furnish all 
the answers. 

And, further: 

And to the three also (did He l^^tl&Jpj 

turn in Mercy) who were left ' 

behind. (Al Tawbah 9:1 18) (HA:1*«jj) 

Who the three men were and what had happened to them? Why 
was their case left in abeyance? Can these facts be ascertained 

Introduction „ ,, 


without referring to the Traditions of the Prophet? 
The Qur'an, in the same manner, says: 
And He brought those of the ,.\ >* ,,a 
People of the Scripture who & dj*J 

supported them down from ^ i£f& # v fc£Ji 
their strongholds, and cast *. \ \ , t ' \ '» 

panic into their hearts. Some ye **** *V ***** 
slew, and yet made captive J&fc § J- j r""fo 
some. And He caused you to „ ' aJr \ J 

inherit their land and their fiWi (if*5 
houses and their wealth, and J * 

land ye have not trodden. r 
(Al Afizab 33:26-27) (f^«ri:rr v'j*"') 

Who were the demonstrators and where did their property lie'? 
Which land were the Muslims caused to inherit though they had 
not set their feet on it? None of these points can, evidenlty, be 
explained if we reject the genuineness of the Traditions. 

These are some of the examples taken at random. Many more 
instances of a like nature can be produced. The aim, however, is 
only to show that it is almost impossible to understand or explain 
the meaning of a large number of Qur'anic verses after discarding 
the Traditions as useless and unauthentic. 

In short, believers in the Qur'an as a Divine Scripture must 
regard it as important to understand and follow it, at all times. They 
will also have to rely on and accept the reports of the sayings and 
doings of the Prophet 0, which the Muslim scholars and 
Traditions have compiled after subjecting them to intensive 
scrutiny. A very large part of which forms a valuable explanatory 
supplement of the Qur'an. 

Those who imagine that the Qur'an is the last word on Faith 
and no religious principle or instruction, of Shari'ah can be 
established from any other source should give a thought on the 
Qur'an itself as honest seekers of truth. Numerous religious acts or 
observances are mentioned in the Qur'an and carried out as a 
religious duty although no injunction was contained in the Qur'an 
about it. It will, therefore, have to be admitted that the command 
for it was given through the Sunnah. We will give only two 
examples of it here. 

44 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

In Surah Taubah the Prophet 0 is commanded in these words 
to abstain from observing the funeral salah of the hypocrites: 
And never (O Muhammad) y'* ^ \ k \£ ^ 

pray for one of them (the " w ' ' 

Hypocrites) who dieth. (AC:q \XtS 

(AI Tawbah 9:84) 

It shows that the funeral salah was being performed and the 
Prophet Hi used to offer prayers at the burial of the dead before the 
above verse was revealed though none of the verses revealed earlier 
can be cited to have enjoined upon the Prophet and the Muslims 
the prayers for the dead. It will, therefore, have to be conceded that 
the relative command was given through the Sunnah. 

Similarly, a reference is made to the Friday sermon in the 
following verse of surah Hajj in the course of a parable or a 

But when they spy some t „ t , _ t t t . , 

merchandise or pastime they J^jWj 
break away to it and leave you LlJtS (JSjS'Jjj t£Jt 

standing. (AI Jumu'ah 62 : 1 1) , 

Leaving, it aside, even the rejectors of the Traditions will, 
perhaps, not deny that the Friday sermon is a religious act, 
ordained by the Shari'ah which the Prophet HOsfe himself used to 
deliver and it has been going on like that in the Umma 1 without a 
break or interruption, but no Qur'anic verse can be quoted in which 
the command for it is given. 

In addition to it, no one claiming to be a Muslim can say that 
the Azan 2 given before salah 7 * is not a religious act which has been 
observed ceaselessly among the Muslims from the time of the 
Prophet ill, and, in the Qur'an, too, it has been mentioed once in 
the surah Maidah as a statement of the fact that the foolish 
disbelievers made of fun of Azan and imitated it contemptuously 
by making derisive gestures: 

O. Followers of the Islamic Faith. 
©. The summons to prayers 

©. Regular worship offered up by the Muslims five times a day. 



And when ye call to prayer they u » j^J , m^j, J, ^ ,^ 
take it for a jest and sport. ' 

(Al Maidah 5:58) ^ f> ^ W ! Ji* 

At another another time, Surah Jumu'ah, in connection with 
another command: 

When the call is heard for the 

prayer of the day of iilsrJt^ jaI^M tj*y\h\ 
congregation, haste unto ^ ,^ * jn" J li 
remembrance of Allah and C?*^ JJ - ^- J*sts-J*^ 
leave your trading. (<\:iy a***-) 

(Al Jumu'ah 62:9) 

but though it is known from these verses that Azan was current 
among the Muslims as a religious practice before their revelation, 
not a single verse can be found in the Qur'an through which Azan 
may have been prescribed to the Believers. It is, thus, obvious that 
the command for Azan given not through the Qur'an but Sunnah. 
Though whatever we have written should be enough. We add a 
final word of principle. 

The True Place of The Prophet 

In our view, the fundamental error made by the deniers of 
Sunnah and the Traditions is that they have not understood the true 
place and position of the Prophet m. If they ponder only over the 
Qur'an for a correct appreciation of the nature, duties and functions 
of the Prophet it will be clear that the station of the holy Prophet 
HI is not merely that of the Messenger of Allah but he is also to be 
followed and obeyed explicitly; he is the master, the guide, the 
leader, the judge, the ruler, the arbiter, and, so on - and it is, again, 
in the Qur'an itself that the various capacities and functions of the 
Prophet J§£ have been delineated. 

(i) The Prophet is to be obeyed and the Believers are religiously 

bound to carry out his orders. 

The following words have been addressed to the Muslims, from 

place to place, in the Qur'an 1 : 

O. Al Nisaa 4:59; Al Maidah 5:92; Al Noor 24:54; Muhammad 47:33; 
Al Taghabun 64:12 

46 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

Obey Allah, and obey the My^M 
Messenger. (Al Noor 24:54) U>V' JVf'J ^ M J*s»?' 

From the manner in which the twin commands of Obey Allah 
and Obey the Messenger have been expressed through two separate 
phrases any anyone with a feel of the Arabic langauge and idiom 
will readily concede that like the obedience of Allah, the obedience 
of the Prophet &, too, is permanently enjoined upon the Muslims 
as a religious obligation. It does not simply mean that the Scripture 
brought by the Prophet $ and the precepts and injucntions 
contained in it should be believed in and followed for, in that case, 
it would have been needless to add the directive of Obey the 
Messenger to that of Obey Allah which had already been issued. In 
further elaboration of our point we will reproudce the 
under-mentioned verse from surah An Nisa: 

And when it is said unto them: v.m t- 't. >>\ v* f - 

come unto that which Allah 

hath revealed and unto the ^tltfl cJtj Jjijjl J\j%\ 

Messenger, but seest the , ' V--.4# 

hypocrites turn from thee with 

aversion. (AINisaa4 :61) (l':l"rf-J> 

In it, two things have been spoken of, one immediately after the 
other. People are exhorted not only to come unto that which Allah 
hath revealed but unto the Messenger as well, and the way the two 
duties have been enjoined is enought to show that the rendering of 
obedience to the Prophet S stressed in the foregoing verses does 
not simply denote submission to the Scripture revealed to him by 
Allah but loyalty to the Prophet & is also a distinct and permanent 

In the same Chapter it is further stated that the Messengers had 
been raised with no other object than that they should be obeyed 
and their commands carried out. 

We sent no Messenger save *i<11«Ai"*' .'f-Tr- 
that he should be obeyed by £ & ^J 1 U J 

Allah's leave. (AlNisaa4:64) 0f:r *LJ) Al^V 

(ii) The Messenger are Guides and Leaders by the Command of 



And We made them chiefs who (.< - j^j fa >> {fe j 

guide by Our Command. ' : ' " 

(AlAnbiyaa21 : 73) (*T:M t LJI) 

(iii) The Holy Prophet & has also been ordained to the 
poisition of a Ruler and Arbiter by Allah and it is a prerequisite of 
Faith for the Belivers to refer their disputes to him for adjudication 
and accept his decision ungrudgingly. 

But nay, by thy Lord, they will ^ 

not believe (in truth) until they j *i <JSojJ y& 

make thee judge of what is in 

dispute between them and find 
within themselves no dislike of 
that which thou decidest, and 
submit with full submission. Ui-J I 

(AINisaa4: 65) (lfl : rtL*i) 

And it becometh not a fa f »j ^ 

believing man or believing '/', , T \\ 

women, when Allah and His h'fk <S' *0-*3j 

Messenger have decided an ' '\' VljAs'JA 

affair (for them), that they {V 

should (after that) claim any (TV.rr ^>\y\) 
say in their affair. (Ahzab 33: 51) 

The saying of (all true) 
believers when they appeal 
unto Allah and His Messenger 
to judge between them is only 
that they say: We hear and we 
obey. And such are the 
successful. (Al Noor 24 :5 1 ) 

Tyo til &*'yS\ J)5 o^uSi 

All the above verses are emphatic on the point that the Muslims 
are bound by Faith to submit to the decision of the Prophet 0 in 
all matters and it is not open to them to wrangle about it. 

(iv) Just as it is necessary for anyone's success and felicity that 
he submits to Allah, it is also imperrative for him to obey the 
Prophet &. Conversely, as defiance of Allah is a grievous error 
and source of sever misfortune,so is the defiance of the Prophet ill. 

48 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part 1 

Whosoever obeyeth Allah and ,a , , „ . . , 

His Messenger, he verily hath J ***** 4,1 & 

gained a signal victory. ( ^ , : rr 

(AlAhzab 33:71) ' 
And whoso is rebellious to 

Allah and His Messenger, he U tfV,', ^ *i\ 

verily goeth astray in error " *7Z 

manifest. (Al Ahzab 33:36) (rirfTVIjH) Uli^SG 

Again, on the day the pagans will be cast into Hell they will 
feel sorrow for disobeying the Prophet J§fc in the same way as they 
will repent having been disobedient to Allah. 

On the day when their faces are 

turned over in the Fire they say: .tfi J Ji''' 

Oh, would that we had obeyed '„ r , T „ ~ ' 7 

Allah and had obeyed His ^0 '* ^ OjJjii 

Messenger. (Al Ahzab 33 : 66) (^rr^j 
At another place, it is set forth: 

On that day those who 

disbelieved and disobeyed the 1)^3 -jtf, j^- 
Messenger will wish that they , " 

were level with the ground (i. cW^^tfj^jl J>$l 
e., became a part of the earth so 
that they could escape the (rfrCa-Ji) 
chatisement). (Al Nisaa 4 : 42) 

The Muslims are warned not even to talk among themselves of 
disobedience towards the Prophet ft. 
O ye who believe! When ye 

conspire together, conspire not fk* &k Tj^ \$ I 
together for crime, wrongdoing r\*U' Uf, *- " - 
and disobedience toward the r J J r*H to ** 
Messenger. (Al Mujadilah 58 : 9) (9 :*A -ibb*,) il^iij 

(v) The Muslims are enjoined to take whatever the Prophet 0 
gives and abstain from whatever he forbids. 
And whatsoever the Messenger 

giveth you, take it. And Uj ijiU £ 
whatsoever he forbideth, , r \ , 

abstain (from it). (Al Hashr59:7) ( V:o ^ 1 Jf^^ & 



Even if the above verse is supposed to apply only to worldly 
goods it severs our purpose for, at least, it makes it clear that 
whatever the Prophet 0 may deal out of his free will is worthy of 
aceptance to the Believers without the least hesitation or objection. 

(vi) The Prophet has a greater claim on the life of the Believer 
than the Believer himself. 

The Messenger has a greater 

claim on the lives of the j^Jb Jljl $\ 

believers than (the believers) 

themselves. (Al Ahzab 33:6) < 1 ' rr 

Commenting on this verse, Shah Waliullah remarks: "The 
Prophet 0 is the vicegerent of Allah and enjoys greater power and 
freedom in the matter of the life and property of the Believers than 
the Believers themselves. It is not permitted to the Believer to jump 
into the blazing fire but if the Prophet 0 commands him (to do so) 
it becomes a religious duty." 

(vii) To please the Prophet along with Allah is an essential 
condition of Faith. 

Allah with his Messenger hath *• >i »\ t li, » ji 

more right that they should °' ^ ^ ^ 

please Him if they are believer (1 Y; 9 ajjS) J&y \'j>& 
(Al Tawbah 9:62) 

(viii) Like the love for Allah, the love for the Prophet 0, too, 
should be stronger than attachment to all the things of the world. 
Those who fail in it are wrongdoers and shall remain devoid of 
Divine Guidance. 

Say: If your fathers, and your >> 'J 
sons, and your brothers, and ^ • J J . o J, J 3 
your wives, and your tribe, and j£j'jLls,j '^Jr\^ j^JI^-lj 

the wealth ye have acquired, ; x <">i''A\ V>: - 

and merchandise for which ye ijV * ?J "^J 3 ^ J'^J 

fear that there will be no sale, jTUij LiiUi' 
and dwellings ye desire are 

dearer to you than Allah and ^ & rV! V*' W**'? 

His Messenger and striving in ^ >j 

His way: then wait till Allah ~ ' 

bringeth His command to pass... *'j J*- tj-i^s* 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

Allah guideth not wrong-doing ifr^jjfrlffl tf.xfrj 

folk. (Al Tawbah 9 : 24) " ' " 

(ix) It is the duty of the Believer to respond at once when the 
Prophet 0 calls him for anything 

O ye who believe: Obey Allah, \ Jj\ \g\ \ 

and the Messenger when He ' ' \ r ' , , " t 

calleth you to that which U3 ^ \*s 1i} JjKj^J 

quickeneth you. (Al Anfal 8 : 24) (Yf-.h JtfH) 

(x) It does not become the Believer to go away without taking 
the Prophet's & leave when he summons him for a common 
business, otherwise, there is for him the apprehension of a dreadful 

They alone are the true t t 

believers who believe in Allah jblj jJill ^jiAy»l\ Uil 
and His Messenger and, when „, ,*i ^, Irr 

they are with him on some V* f ~* >^* 4 ^ 

common errand, go not away S^ilL^^^'V^ijLilJ £»Ur 
until they have asked leave of r *tr-rr Jh 
him. (AlNoor24 : 62) ' } 

Preceeding, the Qur'an warns those who do not observe this 

command and slip away without the Prophet's permission in 
these words: 

And let those who conspire to y <^ by&)& ^I^U 

evade orders beware lest grief 1 ' ' " ' ' , 

or pain ful punishment befall J' fi n * ? 1 0' 

them. (AlNoor24:63) j^fo 

The station of the Prophet $1 and the nature and significance 
of his mission forms a permanent subject of study. Much more can 
be written on it than we have attempted and hundreds of Qur'anic 
verses can be cited. We will, however, bring the present discussion 
to a close with the observation that when it is established beyond 
doubt from the Qur'an that the Prophet & is the leader, the guide, 
the ruler, the master, the judge, the aribter etc., it follows 
automatially that whole-hearted compilance with his commands, 
instructions, decisions and pronouncements in respect of religion, 
whether they are of a positive or a negative character, is an 



essential condition of faith. 

During his life-time the Prophet % was accepted in the same 
capacity by the Ummat and the same significance was attached to 
his sayings and good example. The holy Companions vjfe> who had 
seen and heard him personally took exceptional pains to maintain 
and preserve the entire record of his sayings and doings and they 
handed if down to the succeeding generations with utmost care and 
conscientiousness. Later, in the subsequent decades, the Almighty 
Creator granted to the best and most meritorious members of the 
Ummat the great good fortune to compile and arrange, examine 
and study, criticise and evaluate, learn and teach, translate and 
explain and preserve and propagate the stupendous mass of the 
Sunnah and Ahadith, and to develop various brances of learning 
pertaining to it and serve the cause in a hundred other ways which 
in its marvellousness has not been equalled by any other 
community 1 . Owing to it, though more than fourteen hundred years 
have elapsed since the passing away of the blessed Prophet 0, the 
radiance of his sayings and good example is still with us to guide 
the steps of the seekers of truth as it was during the earliest phase 
of Islam. 

The Divine arrangement for the preservation of the teachings of 

the Prophet 0 was, in fact, necessary after the termination of the 

glorious order of Messengers. When no Messenger of Allah was 

going to be raised up after Prophet Muhammad & till the Last 

Day, and he was to function as the Divine Messenger up to the end 

of time, it was essential that his precepts, maxims, exhortations and 

good example remained intact in the world in their entirety, 

unchanged and unpolluted, as long as the human race endured on 

earth so that people could derive the same inspirtion and 

enlightenment from them as those who. were blessed enough to 

affrim faith in him did from his luminous personality during his 

own time. Today no antagonist or habitual fault-finder can deny 

that such an arrangement from the Cherisher and Sustainer of the 

Worlds has consistently been holding good for the last fourteen 

O. There are over sixty branches of learning and lietrature appertaining to the 
Sunnah and Traditions, and without exaggeration, thousands of books have 
been written on each of the divisions. If only a list of books relating to the 
Traditions was prepared it would run into thousands of pages. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

centuries and we firmly believe that it shall continue to be so in 
time to come, and, out of His Infinite Mercy, Allah will not cease 
to produce men who will be ready to serve the lofty designs and 
purpose whenever and in whatever way it is needed. 

M'aarif-ul-Hadith} which it has happily fallen to the lot of my 
friend, Maulana Muhammad Manzoor Nomani, to write, is a recent 
contribution and a new act of service in the line. 

Instead of offering a formal comment on the merit of the book, 
I shall end the Introduction, with the prayer that Allah may bestow 
His kind acceptance upon the Mualana's endeavour and make it 
helpful and beneficial for His bondsmen and enable him to 
complete the remainig volumes of the series in good time. 


Note: Translated from Urdu 

O. The title of the original Urdu edition of the treatise from which the present 
translation has been done. 



Maulana Abu Hasan Ali Nadvi 

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful 

Praise belongs to Allah, and peace be on His chosen slaves. 

While indicating the ends and objects of the raising up of the 
Prophet Muhammad as the Apostle, the Qur'an has specifically 
mentioned four things (i) Recital of Revelations; (ii) Teachings of 
Scripture: (iii) Teaching of Wisdom; (iv) Purification of soul. 

He it is Who hath sent among 

the unlettered one's a 

Messenger of their own, to 

recite unto them His 

revelations and to make them 

grow, and to teach them the 

Scripture and Wisdom, though 

heretofore they were indeed in 

error manifest. (Al Jumu'ah 62 :2) 

Even as We have sent unto you 
a Messenger from among you, 
who reciteth unto you Our 
revelations and causeth you to 
grow, and teacheth you the 
Scripture Wisdom, and 
teacheth you that which ye 
knew not. (Al Baqarah 2:151) 

(r : ir,u4^Ji) 

i& £ij j& <L4 vs 

( I 0 I : X o j^Ji) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

The mission of Prophet Muhammad & comprised of these four 
departments. Just as the Prophet 0 gave to the world a new 
Scripture and a new knowledge and wisdom, in the same way he 
bestowed upon it a new morality and a new Faith, a new devotion 
and eagerness, a new magnanimity and highmindedness, a new 
spirit of self-abnegation and solicitude for the Hereafter, a new 
notion of contentment and asceticism and a new concept of 
indiference to worldly goods and glory, a new ideal of love, 
kindness and compassion, a new joy of worship and a new wealth 
of divine fear, repentance and supplication. On these foundations 
was built the Islamic society and the moral and spiritual 
environment evolved which is commonly known as the Era of the 
Prophet and the Companions. The Companions were the finest 
specimens and most admirable representatives of the aims and 
effects of the raising up of the sacred Prohet 0. One should look 
at this august body of the aforementioned departments of 
Messengership in everyday life. 

The raising of the holy Prophet 0 and his teachings and 
prescepts were the fountainhead of these blessings and the whole 
structure of life, both individual and collective, in the First Century 
of Islam, originated from them. But if a study in depth was made of 
how it all came about and its ways and means were analysed, it 
would appear that the essential elements and basic formulative 
factors of that marvellous revelution were three: 

(i) The personality of the Prophet 0 

(ii) The holy Qur'an 

(iii) The sayings and sermons and teachings and exhortations of 
the Prophet. 

These factors, as a little- thought will show, lie behind the 
complete manifestation of the ends and effects of the 
Messengership of the holy Prophet 0. They have played a decisive 
role in the making of the new Ummah. An ideal society, a perfect 
life and a collective design could not come into existence without 
them. Life is a pre-requisite of life. In our world, lamp is lit by 
lamp. The true Islamic morality which is found side by side with 
faith and action in the lives of the Companions vfc> and their faithful 
successors, and the attendant lofty idealism and deep religious 



feeling were not due, simply, to the recital of the Scripture but had 
also been infused and instilled by the most inspiring and lovable 
personality of the Prophet 0 that was present before them all the 
time and from whose company, guidance and utterances they used 
continuously to profit. The typical spirit and disposition of Islam in 
which there was not only the legal compliance of command and 
injunctions but, also, the incentives to act upon them, and the softer 
values of life and refined oral instincts went along with 
stenuousness of orderly conduct came to be moulded by the 
assemblage of all these influences. 

The Companions 4k had received the command to establish 
salah from the Qur'an and, also, heard the critical explanation of: 

who are humble in their 5jii> Uj jL> 'J, J> 

prayers. (AlMu'minoon23:2) 

but, it was only when they had offered salah with the Prophet % 
and observe the state of his ruku and sqjda that they realised its 
true significance. They had learnt from the Qur'an that salah was a 
most favourite act with the Believers, but until they had heard the 
Prophet S say, "the coolenss of my eyes lies in salah, and 

"O Bilal! give the call of salah j^Q G^^i 

and bring comfort to my heart," 

they had no idea of the yearning and ardency. Likewise, up to 
the time that they had heard the Prophet H say, 

"Their hearts remain in the ^ ; ; ii j> fa 

mosque when they go out of it *~" ' tt 

and they have no peace till they Q\ *J*i 


they could not apprecite the reality of the bond obtaining between 
the mosque and the truthful Believer's spirit. They had repeatedly 
read in the Qur'an the exhortation to beseech the Lord for their 
needs and, also, heard that He was displeased with those who did 
not supplicate to Him but its real purport and substance dawned 
upon them only when they had heard the Prophet S say to Allah in 
the field of Badr, with his forehead placed on the sand, 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

O Allah! I beg Thee in the .Vifr '<\*X\ fin' 
name of Thy promise and Thy ^ pp\ 

covenant. O Allah! If Thou J&J cli & ffi 

decidest to destroy these handful of men, Thou shalt not be 

and noticed the state of extreme distress and anxiety that had led 
Sayyidina Abu Bakr exclaim, "O Messenger of Allah Si It is 
enough." They knew that the life-breath of supplication was 
humbleness and an entreaty was precious to the extent to which it 
possessed that attribute, but the meaning of humbleness were 
revealed to them only when they had heard the Prophet S implore 
the Lord in these words: 

J*t *i <£j*i pl*> j j&nsjsj ^Jj\ 

C~** *lPJ>j jj^jdl ciiUil tte* ^Sjfi^j JJ^J| ^j^LJ, J^, 

"Oh Lord! Thou heareth what I say and seeth wherever I am in 
whatever state. Thou kowest what is secret and what is manifest 
in me, and naught concerning me is concealed from thee. I am 
in distress, a beggar. I beg Thee for succour and protection. Thy 
fear is gripping me. I confess my sins; I supplicate to Thee like 
a poor, helpless suppliant; I beseech Thee like a wretched 
sinner; I implore Thee like an inflicted, awe struck slave-a slave 
whose head may be bowed before Thee, whose tears may be 
flowing in Thy presence and whose body may be bent in utter 
submission; a slave who may be lying prostrate on the ground, 
begging, imploring and crying his heart out with nose rubbing 
the earth. O Lord! Do not reject my prayer; have mercy on me. 
O Thou the Best of Givers and Noblest of Helpers." 1 
They had read in the Qur'an about the transitoriness of this 

world and the permanence of the Hereafter and knew by heart the 

©• Kanz ul-Ummal on the authority of Ibn Abbas. " 




This life of the world is but a 
pastime and a game. Lo! the 
home of the Hereafter- that is 
life. (AlAnkaboot 29:64) 

but gained a full mental grasp of its practical implicatins purely 
from the life of the Prophet and it was only by observing his way of 
living and the circumstances of extreme hardship and poverty in 
which the members of his family passed their days that they felt 
what was meant by future existence being he real existence and 
how did they and their families subsist who believed in, 
"O Allah! There is no joy other 

than the joy of Futurity." 1 3>^'l JL* % tffjtf 

When with this trenchant exhoration and practical life-pattern they 
heard the details of the boons and blessings of Paradise and endless 
tortures of Hell from the Prophet 0, a unique feeling of fear 
mingled with eagerness was produced in their hearts and the 
picture of both the ultimate resting places remained permanently 
drawn before their mind's eye. 

Similarly, they were well-informed of the import of moral 
virtues like compassion, humility, politeness and good manners, 
but the full range of their meaning and their application in practical 
life was clear to them only when they had witnessed the 

orphan, the weak, and the indigent and towards his own friends, 
Companions djfo, family members and domestic servants and heard 
his advice and admonition in that regard. They had received the 
command from the Qur'an to fulfil the rights of the Muslims, in 
general, but its numerous forms like caring for the sick, 
participating in the funerals and making the prayer of welfare for 
the one who sneezed were such that people, for the most part, 
could not conceive of them on their own, or, at least, appreciate 
their significance. Again, the Qur'an has stressed the need to whom 
kindness to the parents and to others who have a claim upon us but 
how many moral teachers could have thought of the lofty standard 

set in the Tradition that reads: 

O. Kitabur Riqaq in this Book 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

"An excellent grade of dutifu- 

lness and showing kindness to JjJ-^Jl^jJl 

one's father is that a person 

sends presents to friends of his * -J 

parents and treats them with affection after the death of the 

Or, who could have attained the level of nobility of social conduct 
indicated in the Tradition 

"Often it happened that when a goat was slaughtered in the 
Prophet's 0 house, he would have it cut into pieces and sent them 
to the ladies who were the friends of his deceased wife Khadijah?" 

From these few examples drawn from the reports of the 
Prophet's 0 sayings and doing appertaining to moral disposition 
and social conduct one can imagine the depth and comprehensive- 
ness of the guidance the Traditions furnish in the various 
departments of life and realise what a wonderful treasure-house of 
knowledge and instruction do they make for humanity. 

On the other hand, the history of religions conclusively shows 
that mere legislation is not enough to give rise to a deed in its true 
spirit or create the atmosphere that is needed to make it effective 
and purposeful. For instance, the brief command to establish salah 
cannot produce the inner feeling which is conductive to the 
preservation of its form and essence, the cultivation of the habit to 
observe it regularly and the attainment of the desired moral, mental 
and spiritual results. For it, rules proprieties are required that lend 
grandeur and vitality to the act. The commands of ablution, 
cleanliness, understanding, humbleness, calmness and 
congregation have been given in the Qur'an for that very reason. 
But the proper climate for the realisation of the moral, spiritual and 
collective benefits of salah will evidently, be generated in 
proportion to additions made, within the realm of practicability, to 
the external arrangements, rules and formalities. The students of 
the sayings of the Prophet ^ and his biography will be aware that 
this utterances and exhortations have strengthened and reinforced 
them so admirably that salal\ has become a most efficacious means 
of self-purification, moral uplift and sincere devotion to Allah as 
well as of the training and disciplining of the ummat and giving it a 



true sense of solidarity. The superiority of wudu (abulution) and of 
the precise formulation of the intention to perform it, the 
superiority of going to' the mosque and of each step taken in that 
direction, of the prayer of the way, of the correct manner of 
entering it, of salutation of the mosque and of waiting for the 
service to begin, the reward on congregation, Azan and Iqama, the 
superiority of the position of the Imam and the stress on following 
him strictly, the obligation to keep the rows straight, the superiority 
of holding sessions of teaching and instruction in the mosque and 
of people sitting together and reciting the Names, Praises, and 
Attributes of Allah, the proper way of coming out of the mosque 
and the prayer for the occasion etc., etc., have, for instance, 
enhanced manifold the solemnity and splendour of salah. Add to it 
the state of the Prophet's salah, his enthusiasm for the 
supererogatory prayers, the incidents of his absorption in the 
recitation of the Qur'an and of bursting into tears during it, as 
preserved in the Traditions, and imagine what a high degree of 
excellence the salah of the Ummat acquires owing to them. We can 
conclude similarly about the other obligatory duties of fasting, 
zakah and the hajj and judge for ourselves how far they can retain 
their effectiveness and ability to stir the deepest feelings of 
reverence and eagerness and bring about a new society inspired 
with the spirit of worship, piety and earnest repentance if they are 
shorn of these virtues and proprieties, cut off from the events and 
incidents from the life of the Prophet 0 and isolated from the 
atmosphere the Traditions provide for them. 

The life, sayings and practices of the Prophet 0 the collection 
of the reports of which is called the Hadiths and the Sunnah - 
provide the climate in which Faith thrives and bears fruit. Religion 
is not the name of a wooden, soulless ethical code or collection of 
laws. It cannot exist without warmth of feeling, solid facts and 
practical examples. The best and most authentic assemblage of 
these is the one that is related to the personality of the Prophet 
and derived from the history of his life. Judaism and Christianity as 
well as the other Asian faiths soon lost their inner vitality and 
became weak and decrepit because they did not possess reliable 
records of the sayings and practices of their Prophets 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

and the surrounding influence that enabled the adherents to grow 
morally and spiritually and withstand the onsiaghts of godless 
materialism was not available to them. They, ultimately, tried to fill 
the void with the life-accounts of saints and holy men and their 
sayings and sermons but succeeded only in reducing the religion to 
a collection of rituals, ingenious interpretations and innovations. 
The bankruptcy of these faiths in respect of the records of the lives 
of their Prophets % is a historical reality on which a great deal has, 
already, been written. An incontrovertible proof of Islam being the 
last and eternal Faith is that such a tragedy has never occurred to it. 
The intellectual and spiritual enviornment in which the 
Companions i$» lived and operated has been wholly preserved for 
posterity through the Traditions. It is, as such, quite possible for a 
person belonging to the succeeding generations to break away from 
his own surroundings and begin to live in an environment in which 
the Prophet m himself is present - he is speaking to the 
Companions and they are listening to him attentively, forms of 
action are seen side by side with precepts and episodes of feeling 
along with forms of action. From the Traditions one can realise 
what kind of deeds and moral Faith gives rise to and what design 
of life belief in the Hereafter brings into being. These are the 
windows through which the family life of the Prophet his 
home, the way he spent his nights and the moral, cultural and 
economic standard of living of the members of his household can 
be viewed completely; the state of his genuflexion can be seen with 
the eyes and the melody of his prayers heard with the ears. How, 
then, can the eyes which see him shedding tears and his feet 
swelling up (due to long strentches of standing in prayers) and the 
ears that hear him protesting should he not be a grateful bondsman 
of Allah be guilty of negligence? How can they be in doubt about 
the worthlessness of the material world and remain unmoved by the 
call of asceticism who see that fire is not lit in the Prophet's $!& 
house for months, that a stone is tied to his stomach to subdue the 
pangs of hunger and marks are left on his back due to sleeping on 
the coarse mat of date-palm leaves? Who can remain heedless of 
the life of the Hereafter being a witness to the fact that the 
remainder of the gold meant for charity is spent eagerly in the way 



of Allah before retiring for the night or the oil for the lamp is 
borrowed from a neighbour during the Prophet's S last illness? 
Where will one go for taking a lesson in nobility of mind and 
character and perfection of humanity who has seen the Prophet 0 
lending a hand to the members of his family and showing affection 
to his children, lenience to his servants, kindness to his 
Companions ofe> and forbearance to the enemies? 

Not only is the door of the Prophet's ill apartment open 
through which all this can be seen but, also, the doors of the houses 
of his blessed Companions and everything-the mode and 
manner of their living, the burning of their hearts and the ardour of 
their nights, their activities in the market-place and serenity and 
composure in the mosque, their devoutness, self-restraint and 
implicit surrender to Allah and even their human weaknesses — is 
exposed to veiw. Here, the glorious incident of Abu Talha Ansari's 
4^- self-denial meets the eye as well as the unfortunate episode of 
Ka'b ibn Malik staying away from the battle of Tabook. In fine, 
it is such a natural environment that life is present in it with all its 
reality and diversity and the Traditions have preserved it for 
eternity by painting a vivid picture of it, to the minutest detail. 

The preservation of a thorough and authentic description of the 
age of the Prophet H along with the Qur'an is an achievement of 
the Muslims the like of which cannot be found in the annals of any 
other religion or community. A faith that has to endure till the end 
of time and supply sustenance to the heart and mind and provide 
correct incentives to thought and action cannot be expected to fulfil 
its destiny without the environment in which it had blossomed up 
and that environment has been made safe by means of the 

The history of the collection and compiltion of the Traditions 
distinctly shows that it was not a chance occurrence. The paying of 
attention by the Companions to the writing down of the 
Traditions in the Prophet's 0 own lifetime and the preservation of 
a large part of the narratives by them and the continuance of the 
task by their immediate successors, the hurrying along of 
thousands of scholars from Iran, Khorasan and Turkestan and their 
phenomenal memory, earnestness and dedication to the cause of 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

the Traditions, the coming up of redoubtable masters of 
Asma-ur-Rijal an the science of narration with their single minded 
attachment, and, finally, the inclination of the Ummat as a whole, 
towards the Traditions and the popularity and propagation of this 
branch of knowledge in the whole of the Islamic world go to prove 
that like the preservation of the Qur'an, the preservation of the 
sayings of the Prophet 0, too, was an act of Allah. It was decreed 
by the Almighty that the reports of the sayings and practices of the 
Prophet £H were compiled and made safe forever. The continuity 
and perpetuation of the "blessed life" (of the Prophet) was made 
possible by it, and the moral, spiritual and intellectual heritage the 
Companions & had received directly kept on reaching the Ummat 
during the entire cause of its hostory. Thus, the process of 
"inheritance" continued not only as regards beliefs and commands 
but also feeling a disposition and the mental and emotional 
character of the Companions & was duly transmitted from one 
generation or class to another. In the long and chequered history of 
the Ummat this frame of mind did not become extinct even for a 
brief period of time. There have always been found men in it who 
can be said to possess the nature and disposition of the 
Companions efa. The same fondness for worship, the same 
devoutness and piety, the same constancy and steadfastness, the 
same humility and self-introspection, the same detachment to the 
material world and earnest anxiety for the life to come, the same 
keenness for sanctioning what is legitimate and forbidding what is 
unlawful, the same revulsion against an innovation and eagerness 
to follow the way of the Prophet & is evident in them which was 
the characteristic of the holy Companions It, doubtlessly, is the 
outcome of the study of the Traditions and attachment to them or 
of keepng the company of those who had received light from that 
source. This mental and emotional legacy of the Ummat has 
maintained its course from the First Century of Islam down to the 
modern materialistic age. From Sufyan Suri, Abdullah ibn 
Mubarak and Imam Ahmad Hambal to Maulana Fazlur Rehman 
Ganj Moradabadi, Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi and Maulana 
Syed Abdullah Ghaznavi, we have an unbroken chain of its 
glowing symbols and as long as the stock of the Traditions remains 



intact and the practice of obtainig instrution and inspiration from it 
endures, the true character and temperament of the Ummat in 
which solicitude for the Hereafter predominates the atachment to 
the present world and spiritually takes precedence over materialism 
and confirmed practice of the sacred Prophet & transcends local 
customs and traditions will survive and it will never allow the 
Muslims, as a whole, to fall a victim to downright materialism and 
decend lower and lower into the bottomless pit of innovation, 
worldliness and denial of the life of the Hereafter. On the contrary, 
under its influence, reformative movements will take their rise 
regularly, the process of renovation will go on and there will 
always be some 'deep-hearted men striving to the utmost for the 
glory of the Sunnah and the Shari'ah. 

Those who seek to deprive the Ummat of this springhead of 
guidance and vitality do not realise what a grievous dis-service 
they are doing to Faith. They do not know that their efforts can 
only lead to making the Ummat rootless and insolvent from within 
in the same way as the enemies of Judaism and Christianity or the 
vagaries of time have played havoc with those great religions. If 
they are doing it deliberately, no one can be a greater enemy of 
Islam than them, for there is no other way now to revive and 
recreate the moral and spiritual character that was the grand 
peculiarity of the Companions 

In India the translation and compilation of the Tradsitions has 
been going on along with the translation of the Qur'an. As far as we 
know, here, Sheikh Abdul Haq Mohaddis Dehlavi was the first to 
translate Mishkaat into Persian which was published under the tile 
of Ashi'a'atul Lam'aat. After Persian had ceased to be the language 
of literary expression in our country, Maulana Khurram Ali 
Bilhouri, perhaps, produced the first translation and commentary in 
Urdu of Imam Saghfani's wellknown work, Mashariq-ul-Anwaar 
which was called Tohfatul Akhyar. Soon afterwards, Nawab 
Qutubuddin Khan, a disciple of the family of Shah Waliullah, 
translated Mishkaat into Urdu with necessary notes and comments, 
called Mazahir-ul-Huq, which became very popular. It was 
followed by several cmpilations of the Traditions in Urdu, the most 
notable being Maulana Muhammad Ibrahim Aarwi's 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 


In our time, Maulana Badr Alam is doing the most valuable 
work in Urdu on the Traditions. Three volumes of his treatise, 
Tarjumanul Sunnah, have already been published. It is a book of 
such a high standard that its study will be profitable even for 
savants and scholars. 

Need, however, was still felt of a book on the Traditions for the 
average reader which was written with an awareness to the 
questions that often arise in the minds concerning the Traditions 
today. Evidently, such a task could be undertaken only by one who 
besides possessing a through knowledge of Faith, was also blessed 
with a firm and unshakable faith in transcendental truths. It, 
further, was essential for him to be in touch with contemporary 
intellectual and spiritual trends and movements. 

The distinguishing mark of the mission of the Prophet % is 
made up of two aspects; correction of the relationship between man 
and Allah, and stabilising the relationship. 

Before he was commissioned as Prophet, the relationship had 
been broken. Evil customs were practices and man indulged in all 
sorts of wicked deeds in every field of his life. He had forgotten 
the attributes of Allah altogether or bestowed them on fellow 
creatures. The result was manifest idol-worship and polytheism. 

Where traces were found of the relationship, there was no 
proper way to develop it. The first achievement of the Prophet &k 
was to correct the relationship through the awareness and unitrain 
belief. He brought it out from behind the numerous curtains that 
had concealed it. He developed it so perfectly that there remained 
ony one voice: ^wJi ^jJi Jj ?t. The result was that apart from the 
prepetual hard-hearted rejection and arrogance there was no 
possibility left for misunderstanding and wrong conduct. 

(IT:AjUrti) ^ 
This was the correction of the relationship between man and 
Allah; the worshipper and the worshipped. Then, he strengthed it 
and put it in order through Shari'ah, a set of Islamic laws. 

His second acheivement was to give the relationship a stability 
and durability. There was no proper link with the Worshipped and 



He was not known as He -should have been. Only a vague idea 
persisted, and He was remembered only on festivals when 
supplication was made to Him. Whole communities conducted 
themselves in this way and those who were religious were a few 
countable number who remembered Allah on all occasions and 
knew Him to be omnipresent Who heard them and solved their 

It is the Prohet's $jk acheivement that he turned the weak 
shadowy relationship into a reality, the deed that was done rarely 
into a continuous occupation and an everyday affair. Now, it 
became as necessary for a Believers as water and air. Those who 
were described as : 

( i r r : r a-Ji) %ti *i\ ait *i 
came under the description: 

Those who called upon Allah only in extreme hardship became 
men who forsook their beds in the nights to remember Allah. They 
who found mention of Allah difficult and unnatural became men 
who found it very painful if they had to forget Allah or give up His 
remembrance for a while. Those who were like birds in cage when 
they had to worship and remember Allah became like fish out of 
water if they were prevented from zikr (mention of Allah) and 

The Prophet ill employed two means to stabilise and give 
permenance to the relationship between worshipper and the 
Worshipped. He described the benefits of zikr and disclosed its 
unseen advantages' so that it no longer is a duty but it is an 
essential part of life and of human nature. It is now food for the 
soul and remedy for the heart. He also proposed for it proper times 
and occasions, the means, methods and words. They perfect 
monotheist belief, motivate worship, fill the heart with light, give 
peace and comfort to life and bless the atomsphere 2 . They are 
all-embracing and inclusive of all hours of the day and night. If we 
indulge in it even on a small scale, the whole life became a perfect 

O. details are found in the relevnt portion of this book. 
©. the text of the book gives details. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

zikr and hardly any moment, work, movement or situation is 
deprived of its association. 1 

The most significant example of zikr is du'a or supplication. 
The Prophet & made supplication an individual part of religion. 
He has given a unique place which no one before or after him 
conceived, It is also an evidence of the finality of prophethood with 

The Prophet iH gave man the wealth of supplication which he 
had lost. He taught him to speak to Allah and find the pleasant taste 
of life in it. He brought back the prodigal son of Sayyidina Aadam 
M to His Lord, pleading with Him and presenting his petitions to 

The Prophet S taught us to make supplication and he 
introduced into literature the supplications which enriched it like 
pearls, He used words more effectively and aptly than man can 
bring. His supplications are a permanent miracle, a proof of his 
prophethood, and they repose full confidence in the Creator, Lord 
of the worlds. 

His supplications Include everything a man could need and ask 
for. He has taught supplications for every occasion. 

It is a matter of profound satisfaction that the choice of Allah 
has fallen upon Maulana Manner Nemani for it: Numerous 
literary and religious serviees are to his eredlt, but I attaeh the 
greatest important to the persent undertakings: May Allah grant 
him health and §tren|ht to eomplete the whole QfMa'erifkl Hedith 
due time, 

AM Hasan AH Nadvi 

0: 9§taii§ in the text 



o>LP Uj^j UJL-a ^ Jljjijjd s^jj* 

U» 4 iii v tit fr^yj 'h 

U# ji y*J ai^i u# tf& 
ua^ Jl A-Ui ua^ JTjU jtffo 

Ji ^3 u# yp ci-jg ur diAi 

In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful 


(1/1) It is related by Umar Ibn al-Khattab 4&> that he heard the 
Messenger of Allah iS§l say: "The actions are but judged 
according to intentions; and to every man is due what he 
intended. Thus, whosoever migrates for the sake of Allah and 
His Messenger [and there is no other motive of his migration 
except compliance with the commands of Allah and the Prophet 
and the winning of their good pleasure], his migration is 
accounted for the sake of Allah and His Messenger [and, 
doubtlessly, he is a true Muhajir- Emigrant- and shall recieve 
the recompense prescribed for ////raf-Migration- towards Allah 
and His Messenger]; and whosoever migrates for the sake of 
this world or to wed a woman [his migration will not be for 
Allah and the Prophet], and it will be accounted only for the 
purpose for which it is intended." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: The translation of the Tradition given above is 
self-explanatory and there is no need for a further eluciation of the 
subject-idea of this , saying of the holy Prophet iH. But its special 
significance demands that a little more light be shed on its 

NOTE: In the translation of the Traditions I have tried to render theif meaning 
as literally as possible-sometimes, I am afraid, at the expense of the English 
language. Translator 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

The main purpose of the above Hadith is to show that the 
goodness or badness and acceptability or otherwise of all human 
actions is dependent on intention. Or, in other words, only such a 
deed will be deemed good and carry merit in the sight of Allah 
which is done with a good and virtuous intention and a 'good' deed 
that is done with an evil or impure intention will not be judged as 
noble and meritorious; on the contrary, it will be held to be wicked 
and detestable according to the intention which motivated it 
though, apparently, it may be good and praiseworthy. 

In sum, Allah sees intention along with action and the hidden 
along with the manifest. He judges the worth and value of a deed 
by the motive with which it is performed. 

A Misunderstanding 

It should, however, not be imagined that when it is the motive 
that decides, even the evil deeds that are done with a good 
intention become virtuous and deserving of Divine reward, as for 
instance, if a person commits theft with the intention that he will 
give away to the poor and the needy the goods he will thus acquire, 
it will entitle him to recompense from Allah. 

The deeds that are wicked in themselves and have been 
condemned as such by Allah and His Messenger will remain 
abominal and worthy of Divine chastisement in any case. Their 
evilness cannot be taken away by the purity of the motive. What is 
more, to perform them with a noble intention and be hopeful of 
Divine reward because of it may well be the cause of additional 
misforutne and enhancement of punishment as it will amount to 
playing with the religion of Allah. 

Rather this saying emphasises that the good deeds too will 
cease to be commendable if one performs them with an evil 
intention and will lead to a bitter end owing to the uncleanliness of 
the motive. For example, a person offers salah with great 
humbleness which, by itself is a virtuous act of the highest order 
but if his humility is prompted by the desire to impress others so 
that they may think much of his devoutness and hold him in high 
esteem then, according to the above Hadith, it will gain him 
nothing in the judgement of the Lord. Similarly, if a person 

Book of Faith 


migrates from the land of aspostasy to the land of faith and endures 
all the hardship that goes with it but his migration is not for 
seeking the countenance of the Lord and there is some worldly 
motive behind it, like marrying a woman who lives in the country, 
his migration will not be an Islamic Hijrah nor will it entitle him to 
Divine recompense. On the contrary, it will be considered sinful. 

EvenaGreatDeedThatisNotFor Allah 
and Lacks Sincerity Will Take One to Hell 

It is related m a Hadith that, first of all, three persons shall be 
condemned to Hell by Allah on the Day of Judgement. The first to 
be called to account will be a person who had been matryed in 
Jiha<f. When he will be produced, Allah will remind him of His 
blessings, which he will recall with full recognition. Allah will, 
then say to him, "Tell Me, how did you give the rights of these 
blessings?" He will reply, "I waged Jihad in Your way and even 
laid down my life in seeking Your good pleasure." "You are a liar", 
Allah will remark, "you participated in Jihad simply because you 
wanted people to say such a one was a valiant man, and it has been 
said already." He will, thereupon, be thrown headlong into the Fire 
at the command of Allah. 

In the same way, a theologian will be brought before Allah who 
had got the whole of the Qur'an by heart. Allah will ask him, "What 
did you do?" He will submit, "I learnt Your Book and studied Your 
faith myself and taught them to others also, and I did it all for Your 
sake alone." "You are a liar," Allah will say, "You did desire only 
that men should say that such a one was a great scholar and a 
reciter of the Qur'an, and that has been said already." He will, 
thereupon, be cast into Hell at the command of Allah. 

After him, one who had an abundance of wealth will be 
produced before Allah and He will say, "Did I not give you plenty 
of wealth and what did you do with it? "My Lord," he will reply, "I 
left no branch of goodness in which I did not spend for Your sake." 
You are a liar," Allah will remark, "You desired that men should 
say that such a one was a generous man; and that has been said 
already." He, also, will be thrown into fire, head foremost, at the 
command of Allah. (Muslim) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

In brief, only such an act will be of help and advantage to us 
with Allah which is performed with a pure intention i.e., solely for 
His propitiation. In the special terminology of Islam it is called 
Ikhals or single-minded devotion. 

A Qur'anic Similitude of The 
Sincere and The Insincere 

In the Qur'anic verses we are now going to produce two 
categories of men who practice charity are spoken of, those who 
spend their wealth on the weak and the indigent with the object of 
impressing others and winning their admiration and the other who 
do so wholly for the sake of Allah. Outwardly, the conduct of both 
of them is similar and the eye cannot distinguish between their acts 
of benevolence but the Qur'an insists that since their intentions are 
different, the results will also not be the same. The action of one of 
them is altogether fruitful and propitious while that of the other 
wholly wasteful and unrewarding. 

Like him who spendeth his 

wealth only to be seen by men 

and believeth not in Allah and 

the last Day. His likeness is as 

the likeness of a rock whereon 

is dust of earth; a rainstorm 

smiteth it, leaving it smooth 

and bare. They have no control 

of aught of that which they 

have gained. Allah guideth not 

the disbelieving folk. 

(Al Baqarah 2:264) 

And the likeness of those who 
spend their wealth in seach of 
Allah's pleasure, and for the 
strengthening of their souls, is 
as the likeness of a garden on a 
height. The rainstorm smeteth 
it and it bringest forth its furit 
twofold. (Al Baqarah 2 : 265) 

Thus, although, apparently, the two groups of men gave away 

ifoj J* ^Ul pjfo -oil* jtyi 

(Mr :r«jiJl) 
(f1i:f Oji) 

Book of Faith 


of their wealth to the needy in an identical manner, the motive of 
the former being that of ostentatious exhibition, they got nothing 
from it except ephemeral praise and laudation, while the later had 
aspired only for the good graces of the Lord and so they were 
recompensed by Him in keeping with their intention. This, in sum, 
is the Divine law and Allah's confirmed practice to which the holy 
Prophet 0 has drawn attention in the Hadith under discussion. 

In This World Judgement is Based Upon 
The Apparent, While, in The Hereafter, 
Intention is The Main Criteria 

The world in which we live and carry out our duties is a 'visible' 
one and the scope of our awareness and perception, here, too, is 
limited to the 'apparent'. In this world, we can form a good or bad 
opinion about anyone only on the basis of his conduct that can be 
seen and easily understood and we deal with him accordingly. We 
are incapable of knowing the real intentions, the hidden secrets of 
the heart that lie at the back of the visible deeds. Hence, Sayyidina 
Umar 4^> has said, 

"Our function is to decide 

according to what is apparent ^Jja *'j j*^^. d** 
and the hidden secrets 

entrusted to Allah." ^ 
But, in the Hereafter, judgement will rest with the Lrod. Who is 
the Knower of the Invisible, and He will decide according to 
intentions. Thus, while, here in this world, the visible deeds are the 
main thing and no decision can be given on the basis of intentions, 
in the Future Existence it will be the other way round and the 
Divine Judgement will be based upon intentions, and apparent 
actions will be subordinated to them. 


The above Tradition is included among what are known as 
Fawam'-ul Kalam (i.e., all-embracing speech). It is one of the 
wide-ranging sayings of the Prophet which, in spite of their 
brevity, are comprehensive of a large and most important segment 
of Faith. According to leading theologists, one-third of Islam is 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

covered by it, which is not an over-statement by any means 
because, basically, Islam is divided into three parts Iman (Articles 
of Faith), A'mal (Deeds) and Ikhlas (Sincerity in Action), and this 
Tradition takes into account the whole branch of Ikhlas. Hence, the 
claim that one-third of Islam is contained in it. Moreover, 
earnestness is needed at each step, whatever the endeavour, and 
when a person embarks on a noble undertaking, whether 
intellectual or practical, he should, particularly, keep in mind the 
admonition of the holy Prophet ft. It has, as such, been the 
practice of well-known Muslim religious scholars to begin their 
theological works with the above Tradition. Imam Bukhari, and, 
Imam Baghawi have, for instance, placed this Tradition at the head 
of their compilations, respectively, Jam'i Saheeh and Masabeeh, in 
recognition of the fact that this saying of the Prophet 0 expresses 
one of the fundamental ethical pricniples of Islam. They have made 
it, so to speak, the exordium of their collections. Ibn Mehdi, has 
remarked "If anyone writes a book on a theological subject, he will 

be well advised to begin it with this Tradition If I worte a 

book, I would peon each chapter of it with this saying." "For that 
reason, the present writer, too, has preferred to commence his 
compilation with the above Tradition. May the Almighty bless him 
and the readers with single-heartedness and purity of intention! 

[We will, now take up, under a special arrangement, the 
Traditions in which the sacred Prophet 0 has explained Iman and 
Islam, and their fundamental doctrines and sub-divisions, 
pre-requi sites and stipulations, virutues and benefits, as well as 
things that are inimical to them. We are going to start with Hadith 
Jibreel which is known as the 'Mother of Sunnah' on account of 
being doctrinally comprehensive of all the branches of Faith]. 


Hadith Jib reel 

.an Sj^j oIp jiS &*%\ ^ yi^Ji j> 'j** jp(Y/Y) 

3 a^T jj JJt 0"j JtLrf dp 'ill JU 

f->£«tf ,&3 *S*'i>' Jl>>> J3^3 ?f&?> ^ i3f* iUiu; 
M> ^3 uUi jift vji jl^ 

jtl cJj-> j il '^C-* cjiktii o! 2^3 (S^j cj-^'j 

,ciu> jii £&j a^- jiiiw ^3*3 >r*/i *P33 *^3 *=^3 

& felt \fr J3I1J1U ja ?ulUi i^ii jil c^ji & 
aii^Ji csjJ a'3 i#3 juj j» jii t&tt & 'Jjft jii *jn-Ui 
jii jtf t!u ciii j&i ^ jii ^ u*3 ato*' 

(2/2) It is related by Umar ibn al-Khattab 4&> "One day ! was 
with the Messenger of Allah ^ [from another version of the 
Tradition 1 it appears that a number of Companions were present 
at that time and the Prophet was talking to them] when, all 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

of a sudden, there appeared a man from the opposite direction 
whose clothes were very white and hair very dark and who also 
did not show the effects of a journey [i.e., from his appearance 
it did not seem that he was an outsider]. At the same time, it 
was a fact that none of us recognised the newcomer [which 
showed that he was a stranger], [The man came up, passing 
through the people who were present], till he kneeled down and 
sat back on his heels before the Messenger of Allah i$| in such 
a way that his knees were touching the knees of the Prophet W* 
and his hands were placed on the Prophet's ^ thighs, and said, 
"O Muhammad, tell me, what is Islam?" "The Prophet j& 
replied, 'Islam is [i.e., its fundamental doctirnes are] that you 
affirm [with tongue as well as the heart] that there is no deity 
but Allah [i.e., no one is worthy of worship and obedience save 
Him] and Muhammad is His Messenger, and that you establish 
Salah [prayer], and pay Zakah [the obligatory charity], and 
observe fasting during the month of Ramadan, and pefrom the 
H a il [pilgrimage] if you can afford the journey.' On hearing the 
Prophet's reply, the newcomer remarked, 'You told the truth'. 
[The narrator of the Tradition, Sayyidina Umar tells that 
they were surprised at it that the stranger was asking the 
question, and, also, ratifying the answer]. After that, the 
newcomer said, 'Now tell me, what is Iman? The Prophet ill 
replied, 'Iman is to believe in Allah, and His Angels, and His 
Scriptures, and His Prophets, and to believe in the Resurrection, 
and the Last Day, and the Divine predestination of good and 
evil, and to have the fullest faith in all these things.' [On hearing 
it also] the man remarked, 'You told the truth'. After it, he said, 
'What is IhsanT The Prophet 0 explained, 'Ihsan means to 
worship Allah as if you see him, for if you do not see Him, be 
sure, He sees you.' The man, then, said, 'Tell me about the Hour 
when will it come?' The Prophet 0 replied, "He who is asked 
has no more knowledge [about this] than he who asks'. The man 
thereupon, said, Tell me some of its portents, at least.' The 
Prophet iH replied, '[One of its portents is that] the slave-girl 
will give birth to her master, [and another is that] you will see 
that bare footed, semi-naked, emptyhanded and obscure 
camel-herdsmen will erect high buildings and try to surpass 
each other in it.' Then the man went away. Sometime later, the 

Book of Faith 


Prophet enquired from me, 'O Umar! Do you know who 
[that] questioner was?' I replied, 'Allah and His Messenger know 
best.' The Prophet ii§k, thereupon, said, 'That was Jibreel, he 
came in you assembly to teach you your religion." 
Muslim [in Bukhari and Muslim the same incident is also narrated by Abu 
Hurayrah <$je> ] 

Commentary: In this Hadith, the holy Prophet HI has described 
five things in reply to the questions put by the Jibreel: Islam, Iman, 
■Ikhlas, the warning about the Last Day that no one except Allah 
had the knowledge of when it would be, and, lastly, its portents. 
Let us regard them one by one. 

(A) Islam: 

Literally, Islam denotes self-surrender or to give oneself up to 
someone and accept his overlordship in the fullest sense of the 
term. The religion sent down by Allah and brought into the world 
by His Prophets has been called Islam for the simple reason that, in 
it, the bondsman yields completely to the power and control of the 
Lord and makes the rendering of whole-hearted obedience to Him 
the cardinal priniciple of his life. This is the sum and substance of 
the Islamic creed and this is what is required of us in the Qur'an. 
And your God is One Allah, rj, -Ji>\\k» 

therefore surrender unto Him. *ii <U) (*^» 

(Al-Hajj 22:34) (TiiYYg^) 

Who is better in religion than ^ ^ » « - ^ ' ' ' \ '•" " 
he who surrendereth his ^ "' < " r ~*" 

purpose tO Allah?(AI-Nisaa 4: 125) tL-Jt) "Jji^-j 

Further, there are some tenets that are peculiar to Islam in the 
Shari'ah [Ways of Law] brought by the Divine Prophets. These 
tenets, so to say, are the outer manifestations of the inner reality of 
Islam, its signs and symbols, and it, again, is sustained and 
nourished by them. They are purely of a devotional nature and it is 
by means of them that the exterior-beholding eye distingushes 
between those who have opted for Islam and those who have not. 

Thus, in the final, complete and perfect Law brought to us by 

78 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

the Last of the Prophets f& the testimony of the Oneness of Allah 
and Messengership of Muhammad, Salah, Zakah, Fasting, Hajj 
have been prescribed as the principal tenets of Islam. In another 
Tradition it is candidly set forth that: 

"Islam is built upon these five >l . ii' m'Wi ','.» 

things." ff^^f*"-^ • 

The five things the Prophet A has delineated in the above 
Tradition in reply to the question regarding Islam are, at all events, 
the fundamental priciples of Islam and constitute its external form. 
Thus it is that Islam has been made acquainted through them in this 

(B) Imani 

In the literal sense, it means to believe in varaeity of someone 
on the basis of one's faith in Him 1 but in the usage of Islam it 
denotes the affirmation and acceptance as true and authentic of 
what the Messenger of Allah may tell and the guidance they may 
bring from the Lord about the realities that are beyond the organs 
ef one's own understanding, Dogmatic faith, in any ease, is 
basically related to things that are invisible and about which we 
cannot know through the organs of physical preeeptlen [like the 
eyes, the tars and the nose]: 2 These Include the Existence of Allah, 
Hii Commands and Attributes, and the mission of the ledge 
famished by them eeneerning the present world and the Hereafter 
Henee, in the terminology of the Steri'ebjmsn signifies singers 
aeeeptanee @f all the things the Prophet m may teaeh or reveal 
[like these mentioned above] due to an absoulte relianee upoa his 
truthfulness: Te disbelieve §r rejeet any ef the Prophet's teaehings, 
belonging to the aforementioned eategsry, amounts to the 
repudiation of the Prophet 0 himself and takes one out of the fold 
of Islam. j It is, therefore, essential for being a believing man to 

AM yeu feel if vg m m §ayin§ evefl when §peak ih§ truth (m\\\1) 
© : That i§ why, the geflditieR ef eeiief in the unseen i§ aise attached t§ Faith, as 

set ferth in the Qutm whs M\m m M urnm-. 

© Per these whe during the lifetime ef a Prephet listen te his teaehm§s direetly 

trern him, the test ef faith i§ that they testify every wrt the Prephet 

gemffl ungates te them in his eaeaeity a§ a Pivine (eentiRuea* eft neatpage) 

Book of Faith 



c:«sr 8h,by,he w**»«.*«.jr 

But it is not necessary to know all these things in detail. Only a 
general affirmation is enough. 

There are, however, some fundametal truths to believe in which 
is indispensible for a Muslim. The things the Prophet 0 has 
mentioned in the Tradition under discussion, in reply to the 
question about Iman [i.e., Allah had His Angels and His Scriptures 
and His Messengers and the Last Day and the Pre-ordination of 
good and evil] are the basic realities one must precisely affirm in 
order to be a Believer, The Prophet 0 has, for that very reason, 
spoken of them explicity and in the Qur'an, too, these have been set 
forth as the Fundamental Articles of Faith. 

The Messenger believeth In 

that which hath been revealed & ^jS £tf 
unte him by His Lord and [so [ \ U „ 
do] the Believers. Each one *S JF OJ^'J fjJ 
believeth in Allah and His *&\\u£\i43L\ 
Angels and His Scriptures and ~ 
Hti Me§§engers, <TA«:Tl>li) 

(Al-laqarah 2:215) 
Whe§© dlibeligvgth in Allah 

and Hi§ Angeli and His i&j fa >j 

Mjfluni and His Mongers {, ^ y U _ 
and the La§t Bay, he verily Hath 6* J T* - ^ 

vandgfgd ftrutny. orum-* 

Though pFi=©pdinati©fl ©f geed and evil i§ net included in the 
ver§e§ predueed abeve, it ha§ been m§nti§Rgd §pe§ifieally at 
anether plaee in thi Qur'an. In suf&h=u=Ntsn, the Prephet P i§ 
eemmafided te §ayi 

(geminugd) M§s§gflpF: If they deny m Ftjeet any part gf what he Bfgaehes, they 
w§uid net have been regarded a§ Believers.- But if the Pfephet is net alive, the 
affiFfflati§n §f eniy §ueh ©f his teaehinp i§ neeessafy aheyt whese 
authintiiity there may net he the slightest deuht, In the§l§§ieal parlanee, these 
teaehin§§ aFg knewn a§ i§§ential§ ef Faith, and it i§ imperative t§ Relieve in 
all §f them, ©theFwise a peF§en will n§t Femain a Believer, and if he was a 
Muslim eaFlief his Bind with Isiam will §§me t§ an end: 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

All isfrom Allah.(AI-Nisaa4:78) (YA:UUjl) >, olp^Jr jj 
Allah has also said: 

And whosoever it is Allah's jfoi* £ % ^» 

will to guide, He expandeth his \ 

bosom unto the surrender, and «U-£y & f^^j£%^?J*j*w> 
whosoever it is His will to send '%^\ ' £' JL^ \*£u 
astray, He maketh his bosom " '-f ~ J 

close and narrow. (U»:ifU}t) 
(Al-An'am6: 125) 

We will, now, examine briefly the significance of belief in all 
these things. 

Affirmation of faith in Allah means to believe that Hie is One 
and without a partner, that He is present everywhere at once, and 
that He is the Lord of the worlds and the Creator of the universe, 
free from the blemishes and adorned with every attribute of 

Belief in the angels, in the same way implies that their 
existence as a permanent species of created beings should be 
accepted as a reality, and, also, that they are virtuous and honoured 
creatures of Allah, 

Nay, but [they] are honoured ^ ^ - jj^J ^ 

slaves. (Al-Anbiyaa21: 26) 

There is not a trace of mischief, sinfulness or intransigence in 
them. They are bound in utmost loyalty to Allah and carry out 
faithfully the duties that are assigned to them. 

Who resist not Allah in that 

which He commandeth them, Jjfel'j p*/*' ^ 6j-**d ^ 

but do that which they are , 
commanded. (Al-Tahrim66:6) < V-^ 1 ) (dJj*J4 u 

A Misgiving-and Its Answer 

The misgiving about the existence of the angles that if they 
were present we would be seeing them is patently absure. How 
many things are there in the world that are not visible to us, though 
they are present? Before the invention of the microscope had 
anyone seen the organisms in the blood or water that are common 
knowledge today? Or, has anyone been able to see the soul, all the 

Book of Faith g { 

inventions notwithstanding? Just as our eye cannot see the soul, or 
the microbes without a microscope, so, also, we cannot observe the 
angles. There is, thus, no validity in the argument that what we 
cannot see with our eyes does not exist. Have our eyes or other 
faculties of perception encompassed the totality of the material 
world? Only a fool can make such a claim. Particularly in the 
modern age when discoveries are being made every day. Our 
intellect and other sources of knowledge, after all, are very limited 
and inadequate. As the Qur'an has put it: 

And knowledge ye have been ^tiJ, f I, >*> >>~~ 

vouchsafed but little. **** *i r*" Of & j' U J 

(Al Isra' 17:85) (A°:\V iT^l) 

Likewise, belief in the Scriptures signifies that Allah sent down 
His Books of Guidance, from time to time, through His 
Messengers, and that the last and the terminator of the Divine 
Scriptures is the holy Qur'an which, also, is their Musaddiq 
[Testifier] and Muhaimun [Custodian]. In other words, whatever 
was contained in the earlier Scriptures, the preaching and 
propagation of which is necessary in all ages, is included in the 
Qur'an. It is comprehensive of the essential features of all the 
sacred text previously revealed by Allah and makes one 
independent of them, and, since those Scriptures are no longer in 
their original form, the Qur'an, now, is the only authentic Book of 
Guidance for mankind. It has also taken their place and is more 
complete than all of them. Allah accordingly, has taken upon 
Himself the responsibility of its reservation till the end of the 

We, verily, are its Guardian. r. ,V w > , * 

(Al-Hijrl5:9) «* W J >™ W 

Further, faith in the Messenger of Allah means the recognition 
of the truth that, from time to time, and at different places, He sent 
down His chosen men with His Guidance and the Law of His 
preference for the instruction of His bondmen and the Messengers 
conveyed the Divine Messange faithfully to His slaves and strove 
to their utmost to lead them along the Straight Path. All the 
Prophets were truthful and selected servants of the Lord. The 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

names of some of them and few details about their lives are given 
in the Qur'an while nothing has been said in it specifically about 
the rest. 

Among them [the Messengers] ^ ^ ,* 

those of whom We have told * " J " , ' 

thee, and some of whom We t^S-lP ^ ya.^fl i ^ 

have not told thee. (YA:i < 

(Al-Mu'min : 78) 

Anyhow, to declare all the Prophets to be true and to hold them 
in reverence is an essential requisite of Faith. 

As it is borne out clearly by a number of verses of the Qur'an 
and sayings of the Prophet, the glorious line of Messengers was 
brought to an end with the raising up of the Prophet Muhammad 
HI. He is the 'Seal of Prophets' and the last of the Divine 
Messengers and now the salvation and felicity of all men that are 
going to be born till the Last Day depends on following him and 
adhering to his guidance. 

tffr ^ $ ^ jc. ^3 4& jto'Ai Ju> 

Faith in the Last Day denotes that it should be believed in as an 
unalterable reality that the present world will be destroyed 
altogether one day, and, then, Allah will raise from death all men 
and women and requite each one of them for the deeds he or she 
may have performed during their earthly existence. 

Obviously enough, when the entire structure of faith and belief 

is based, as such, upon the doctrine of Divine Reward and 

Punishment, one who does not believe in it will also find it 

unnecessary to believe in any religion or its teachings. 

Consequently, Divine Requital constitutes a fundamental tenet of 

faith in all religions, whether revealed by Allah or evolved by man. 

In some faiths conceived by men it has been expounded in the form 

of dogmas like the transmigrtion of souls while all the religions 

sent down by Allah are agree that the shape of things to come after 

death will identical to what has been indicated by Islam and which 

O. May blessings and peace be on him and on all the Prophets and Messengers 
and on everyone who follows them with goodness to the Day of Requital. 

Book of Faith 


the Qur'an has explained so logically that only an imbecile can now 
be skeptical about the doctrines of the Last Day and the Final 
Judgement and regard them as false or mythical. 

Finally, belief in Predestination shows that one is convinced 
that whatever is happening in the world, good or evil, is at the 
behest of Allah and in accordance with His Will. Every event has 
been determined by Him beforehand. It is not that Allah may want 
something else and the workshop of the world may operate 
independently of His wish and desire. Such an idea or belief will 
virtually connote the utter helplessness of the Almighty Creator^. 

(C) Ihsan: 

Like Islam and Iman, Ihsan, too, is a distinctively theological 
and typically Qur'anic term. In the Qur'an it is stated: 
Nay, but whosoever 

(Al-Baqarah 2:112) ( I I r : r 4^1) 

surrendereth his purpose to 

Allah while doing good "6j&t'jr\ &^JJ> 


Who is better in religion than -\^ x >** ^ ' ' '\ ',"» 

he who surrendereth his ^* " < - r *'*" % 

purpose to Allah while doing J*3 4\ 

good? (Al-Nisaa4:125) (ira : r t UJl) 

The significance of Ihsan has been amply indicated by the holy 
Prophet 0 in the Tradition under study, i.e., to worship Allah in 
such a way that the subduer and the Sublime, the Most Gracious 
and the All-Powerful is present before our own eyes and we, s o to 

O. A brief but highly useful advice towards understanding the most difficult 
aspect of the doctrine of predestination is contained in these italicised words. 
Imam Ghazali has discussed it in detail which, along with what has been said on 
the subject by other celebrated theologians like Ibn-ul-Qaiyyim and Shah 
Waliullah, has been reproduced by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani in his 
Commentary ofSahih Muslim entitled, Fath-ul-Malham. The present writer does 
not know of a more thorough and convincing exposition of the principle of 
pre-ordination. Religious scholars who want to satisfy themselves in this regard 
cannot do better than to study Fath-ul-Malham. But as it is not easy for the 
general body of readers to follow an abstruse discussion like that , we have not 
mentioned it here. What can be easily appreciated will, however, be stated in the 
succeeding pages in explanation of the Traditions on predestinaton. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

speak, see Him. 

Take it like this. The slave carries out the commands of his 
master, sometimes in his presence and sometimes in his absense. 
Generally, there is a difference in the quality of his work in the two 
situations. He discharges his duties with greater efficiency and 
keenness under the eye of the master than when the master is away. 
In the absence of the master, he is apt to be negligent. The same is 
true to bondsmen in respect of the real Lord and Sovereign. When 
the bondsman will feel that the Master is present right there, 
watching his every act and movement, his servitude will acquire a 
special earnestness and diginity which cannot be posibile if his 
heart is devioid of the awareness. Ihsan denotes nothing more than 
that Allah should be worshipped and His decrees and injunctions 
obeyed as if He is seeing us and we are seeing Him. There is 
nothing that He does not watch and observe. This is what is meant 
by the Prophet's 0 advice contained in the above Tradition: 

Ihsan means to worship Allah V^ur-^ '\ . m. 

as if you see Him, for if you do t v 7 

not see Him, be sure, He sees 

you." 1 

O. The import of the above part of this Tradition has been explained in another 
way as well, which, incidentically, is more popular i.e., Worship Allah as if you 
see Him, but if you fail to attain that degree of excellence, you ought to worship 
Allah with the feeling and realisation that He is seeing you. The theologists who 
prefer this interpretation are of the view that, in it, two grades of worship have 
been described. One in which worship is performed with the "seeing of Allah" 
[which is the station of those who are perfect in piety and devoutness], and the 
other is that the station of second calss worshippers]. 

Although some of the most eminent commentators have expounded this 
view, in our humble opinion it is not borne out by the saying. The interpretation 
given in the commentary here seems to us Uf be nearest to the text of the 
Tradition and Iman Navavi in Sharh Muslim, and Allama Sanadi in Hawashi 
Muslim, have also upheld it. Hence, the purport of the above saying of the 
Prophet &L comes down to this that Ihsan signifies that you should worship 
Allah as if you are seeing Him, for if you did not see Him, He, is any case, sees 
you, and when He is seeing you, your devotions ought to be as they are expected 
in His presence. The slave performs his duties better in the master's presence for 
no other reason than that he is being watched by him. The most effective factor 
in the elegance of worship, really, is the seeing of the devotee by the Lord. 

Book of Faith 



Often it is maintained about this part of the above Tradition 
that it applies exclusively to salah. It is said that only salah is 
required to be offered with full humility and devotion. But the 
words of the Tradition do not justify it. It speaks of T'abud which 
denotes absolute worship and obedience. Thus, thre is no 
justification for limiting the Prophet's observation to salah. 
Moreover, in another version of this Tradition the word Takhshi 
has been used in the place of T'abud which, when translated into 
English, reads: "Ihsan means that you fear Allah as if you see 
Him." Yet another version has it that "Ihsan means that you 
perform every act for the sake of Allah and in such a way that you 
see Him." Both of these accounts make it clear that Ihsan is not 
related only to salah, but it covers the entire range of living and 
doing and its pith and substance is that every act of worship and 
obeisance should be performed and all the Divine commands 
carried out and the prospect of Final Reckoning dreaded as if the 
Lord is pesent before us and watching all our acts and movements. 

(D) The Last Hour 

After enquiring about Islam, Iman and Ihsan, the newcomer 
requested the Prophet S to tell when the Last Hour will take place 
and the Prophet $1 replied: 

"He who is asked has no more - -r>r ^ 'tvVllji r» 
knowledge [of it] than he who & <*; J>-*JI U 
asks," ««gjLUl 
meaning that so far as the appointed Last Hour was concerned, he 
was as much ignorant as the questioner himself. In Abu Hurayrah's 
4& account of the above Tradition [which is reproduced also in 
Sahih Bukhari] it is added that the holy Prophet S said that "the 
Last Hour is among the five things about which it is stated in the 
last verse of Surah Luqman of the Qur'an that their knowledge is 
with Allah alone and no one else knows anything about them." 1 

O. Lo! Allah With Him in the knowledge of the Hour . He sendeth down the 
rain, and knoweth that which is in the wombs. No soul knoweth that it will 
earn tomorrow, and no soul knoweth in what land it will die. Lo! Allah is 
Knower, Aware. (Luqman 3 1 :34) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

U (JUpj £4*" cJj-^j *A-Jl * A* 4»ii I^JUj *i Lf J^- j> 

Commentarors have observed that the Prophet iH, instead of 
giving a straightforward reply that he had no knowledge of the 
Hour, preferred to say that "he who is asked has no more 
knowledge (about it) than he who asks" because he wanted to 
emphasise that no one in the world, neither the one who asked nor 
the one who was asked, was aware of it, and by reciting the last 
verse of the Surah Luqman he made his reply more striking. 

(E) Portents 

On receiving this answer about the Last Hour, the visitor asked 
the Prophet iH to tell him something about its portents. The 
Prophet Wi, thereupon, described two of the main signs: (I) the 
slave-girl will give birth to her mistress or master; and (II) the poor, 
illclad and sarving herdsmen will erect high buildings. 

The first sign has been explained by the authorities in various 
ways. In our view, the most reasonable interpretation is that in the 
period preceding the Hour the tendency to disobey the parents will 
become widespread, so much so that daughters, who by nature are 
more respectful to their mothers and about whom it is hard to 
believe that they can ever be defiant towards them will not only 
become insolent to their mothers but actually domineer over them 
and treat them as a misress treats her slave-girl. In other words, 
there will be a general tendency towards parents becoming the 
slaves of their children and the sign, indeed, is already being 

The other sign denotes that the period preceding the Hour will, 
among other things, be remarkable for the fact that wealth will pass 
into the hands of the low-born who will be utterly unworthy of it. 
They will be interested only in making a vulgar display of their 
affluence by building palatial houses and competing with each 
other in other fields of ostentatious living. 

The same subject is broached in another Hadith thus: 

Book of Faith 


(When authority and high ^ £ »fl ^ 
offices are handed over to the " 

unworthy then wait for the Last " i*LJl Jn£\& 


At the end of the Tradition under discussion it is mentioned 
that after the visitor had departed, the Prophet Wh disclosed that he 
was Jibreel, the Trustworthy, who had come to teach people their 
religion by means of the dialogue. 

In some versions of the above Tradition, it is stated that the 
visit by Jibreel $ZsB and the ensuring conversation had taken place 
during the last days of the Prophet's w> life. That being the case, it 
would appear that Allah had mercifully, decided to bring to 
perfection the Companions in Faith by making the Prophet 0 
explain its sum and substance in reply to questions put to,him by 
Jibreel and to make them the trustees of that knowledge. 

In fact, three things from the basis of Faith. Firstly, the 
bondsman surrenders himself wholly to Allah and casts his life into 
the mould of submission to Him. This is what Islam actually is 
while its tenets and practices are the signs and symbols of this 
fundamental reality. Secondly, the major transcendental truths the 
Messenger of Allah have revealed and called on mankind to believe 
in are accepted as true. This is Iman. Thirdly, if Allah enables one 
to complete the stages of Islam and Iman, the third and ultimate 
stage is that the consciousness of the existence of Allah and the 
awareness of His Omnipresence became so strong that allegiance is 
rendered to Him and His commands are carried out as if He is 
present before our own eyes in all His Glory and Splendour, and 
watching all our deeds and actions closely. This state of feeling is 
called Ihsan. 

The concentrated meaning of Islam is contained in these few 
questions and answers, and the scholars of the Traditions have, 
accordingly, described this saying as the 'Mother of Sunnah'. As 
surah al Fatihah is called the 'Mother of the Book', since it is 
symbolical of all the main precepts and doctrines of Islam, in the 
same way the above Tradition deserves to be known as the 'Mother 
of Sunnah' because of its comprehensiveness. For the same reason, 
Imam Muslim has placed this Tradition at the head of his 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

compilation and Imam Baghawi, also, has opened both of his 
books, Masahih and Shark Sunnah with it. 


J. p' 3 4>%\ JU> J^j Jil Jtf>U ^ (r/r) 

(3/3) It is related by Abdullah ibn Uinar 4& that the Messenger 
of Allah said: "Islam is built upon five things: the testimony 
that there is no deity but Allah and that Muhammad is His 
bondsman and Messenger and the observance of Salah, and the 
paying of Zakah, and the pilgrimage to Makkah, and the fast of 
Ramadan." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: In the above Tradition the Prophet has compared 
Islam to a building that is built upon pillars and said that the 
structure of Islam is raised upon the five fundamental tents. It is, 
therefore, inconceivable for a Muslim to be negligent in the 
observance of these principles which, in fact, are the foundational 
pillars of Islam. It should, however, be remembered that duties in 
Islam are not confirmed only to the five basic principles but extend 
to other matters as well, such as, the sanctioning of what is right 
and prohibiting of what is wrong, and Jihad in the path of Allah. 
Since the importance they enjoyed is not equalled by any other 
tenet they have been elevated to the status of fundamental doctrines 
and this distinction is identical to what has been pointed out in the 
commentary of the preceding Tradition. The five points are to 
Islam what body is to soul. Moreover, they examplify the principal 
aspects of worship that are an end in themselves and whose 
obligatioriness is not limited in time or related to a particular 
situation. These are binding and compulsory at all times and in all 
conditions as against Jihad and the sanctioning of what is allowed 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

and the forbidding of what is prohibited which are an obligatory 
duty only on certain occasions and in certain circumstances. 


4* %\ k jLi o> JiS # ^\ & ( t/O 
aL^ jiuii jii ^ ^ 51 u^: 5cs3 ^ fa 

ft jCstJi 3 ^jtf jLi-j ^uJLii jL* tiiSiJ jis'iii jii 

pfxj Jil t% Jf^i 'in J£L. ^jJU Jii <Jjl> JiS 

'in JCL^l (iiJU JlS Jii J15 Lit^i S'/j £U 

^ ^fi f >5» 0 ' «-^>-j Jtf ^ Ji* «-^*' 

Jta oil? Jaiii "i j < Sfei* Jfci Vj^Jb ^oj»3 jiij 

* y s s 

(4/4) Anas ibn Maalik 4^> has related "We had been forbidden 
from asking questions from the Messenger of Allah [without 
a genuine need]. It, therefore, made us happy when some 
intelligent bedouin came to the Prophet 111 and enquired from 
him (about something) and we listened. On one of those days a 
bedouin came to the Prophet HHk and said, 'O Muhammad! Your 
envoy (or preacher) came to us and told us that Allah has raised 
you up as His Messenger.' The Prophet ill replied, 'He told you 
the truth.' So, the bedouin said, 'Tell me, who created the 
heavens?' 'Allah', the Prophet replied. *He then asked, 'Who 

Book of Faith. 


created the earth?' 'Allah', the Prophet $1, again replied. The 
bedouin, then, asked, 'Who raised the mountains on earth and 
made what is contained in them?' The Prophet iH replied, 
'Allah. Thereupon, the bedouin questioner said, 'By the Being 
Who created the heavens and the earth and raised the 
mountains, has the same Allah sent you as His Messenger?' 'Of 
course', replied the Prophet 'He has sent me as His 
Messenger'. The bedouin, then, said 'Your envoy also told us 
that five times Salah are enjoined for the day and night." The 
Prophet 0 remarked, 'This, too, is correct.' The bedouin said, 
'By the One Who raised you up, has the same Allah given you 
the command for those prayers? The Prophet ^ replied, 'Yes.' 
It is the command of Allah.' The bedouin, again, said, 'And your 
envoy, also, told us that Zakah is prescribed on our wealth. 
'This, too, is correct,' the Prophet ^ replied. The bedouin, 
thereupon, enquired, 'By the Being Who sent you, has the same 
Allah commanded you to it?' 'Yes', the Prophet H replied, 'It, 
also, is the command of Allah.' The bedouin, then, said, 'Your 
envoy also told us that fasting is prescribed yearly during the 
month of Ramadan.' The Prophet Hi replied, 'This too, is 
correct.' The bedouin said, "By the Being Who sent you, has the 
same Allah commanded you to it also?' 'Yes', replied the 
Prophet $H&: 'It is the command of Allah.' The bedouin, further, 
said, 'Your envoy also told us that pilgrimage to the House of 
Ka'bah is prescribed to those of us who possess the means to 
undertake the journey to Makkah.' The Prophet replied, 'This 
too, he said correctly.' The bedouin left after the completion of 
these questions and answers, and, while departing, he 
remarked." 'By the Being Who raised you up with truth, 1 will 
neither make an addition to them nor a subtraction.' Upon it, the 
Prophet iH observed. 'If this bondsman is truthful, he shall go to 
Heaven'." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: The opening remark in the above Tradition about 
the "prohibition of questions" pertains to the Qur'anic verse which 

O ye who believe! Ask not of > - ,*[' > : w ' -*.{, . 'Kf 
things which, if they were °^ , ~ 

made known unto you, would p* '?* 3 ii\ 

troubleyou. (Al-Ma'idah 5:101) ^ . \ :£ > ijUWJl) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

It is natural for man to be inquisitive but if he is allowed to 
indulge freely in the habit he tends to make minute distinctions in 
argument and a corresponding weakening of the capacity for action 
takes place. Much time is also wasted in it. Another harm in asking 
too many question from the Prophet of the day is that his replies 
often lead to the expansion of the duties of Ummah ] . The 
Companions <fa>, too, were, therefore, forbidden from putting 
unnecessary questions. They avoided being needlessly inquisitive 
after the command was given to them and wished for some 
bedouin to come and ask questions from the Prophet j& so that 
they could also get a chance to listen. The holy Prophet 0 was 
greatly indulgent towards the poor bedouin and he allowed them 
many liberties. In another version of the above Tradition it is 
related by Anas himself that: 

"the bedouin were very bold in putting questions to the Prophet 
and asked from him whatever they liked." 2 

From Sahih Bukhari we learn, further, that while leaving the 
bedouin had disclosed that "my name is Damam ibn Tha'labah and 
I belong to the tribe of Bani Sa'd and have come here as a 
representative of my people." 

In Bukhari, again, it is mentioned that the bedouin had made 
plain to the Prophet A on coming that 

"I want to ask a few questions j 3^ vfo, >j, 

but my attitude will be rough * *}**«u*«w ^ 
and severe. Will you not be Jt ^ ULlJ l 

angry? " J^ifc^JffJsLii 
The Prophet & had, thereupon, permitted him to ask whatever 
he pleased. 

The departing words of the bedouin 

"I will make neither an addition , 

to nor a subtraction in them," u**' 'J *4j ■ 

signified that he would abide strictly by the Prophet's A teachings 
and make no alteration in them of his own choice or inclination. It 
could also mean that he would convey the Prophet's A message to 

O. People of the same belief. Here it means the Muslims. 
©. Fath-ul-Bari on the authority of Ibn Abu Uwanah. 

Book of Faith 


his people without making any changes. 

Another report of the above incident has it that the bedouin 
took to the preaching of Islam most enthusiastically on his return 
and delivered such forceful speeches against idolatry that some of 
his relatives admonished him, 

"O Damam, fear leprosy and 

insanity, lest you became a jJl^Jbid I j Jit pU-£ li 
leper or a lunatic by opposing 

the gods." ' 0^ 

Allah, however, blessed Damam's efforts so bountifully that 
those who were warning him against leprosy and lunacy in the 
morning became ardent upholders of Monotheism in the evening 
and not a single person was left in the tribe of Bani Sa'd who had 
not enbraced Islam. 

J*J S**j> <» ty'J* S' ^>'J} {s?o*(°!°) 

i^s *> JTjJj Vj '4i i# *bs JU i^ii jia sipfi ?cis 
(pi— ail £ V^' J^Jj sjS'ji' 5jUJ' 

(5/5) Abu Ayub ^ relates "the Messenger of Allah ^6 was in a 
journey, when a bedouin came and stood in front of him and 
taking the reins of his camel [in his hands] said: 'O Messenger 
of Allah [or Muhammad]! tell me something that will take me 
close to Heaven and far from the Fire of Hell.' The Prophet $1 
stopped [i.e., pulled up the reins of his camel in order to reply], 
turned towards the Companions ojfa [and drawng their attention] 
observed, 'He has received right guidance.' The Prophet 0 
then, said to the bedouin questioner, 'Say again what you asked.' 
The bedouin repeated the question. The Prophet thereupon, 
replied, 'Continue to worship Allah and do not associate anyone, 
in any way, with Him and continue to offer Salah and to pay 
Zakah and to join ties of relationship. On completing his reply 
the Prophet W> said to the bedouin, 'Now leave the reins of my 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

camel'." (Muslim) 
Commentary: In this Tradition the holy Prophet 0 has mentioned 
only the worship of one God, the observance of prayer the payment 
of Zakah and the joining of ties of relationship as the deeds that are 
capable of taking one close to Heaven and far from Hell and left 
out even fasting and Hajj. But it does not mean that these four acts 
are enough and all the other obligatory duties are unnecessary. To 
interpret the sayings of the Prophet J& in such a narrow and rigid 
manner is to betray a woeful want of good judgement. A student of 
Traditions should always bear in mind the general truth that the 
Prophet HI is a loving teacher and an earnest benefactor of the 
Vmmah and not a writer or philosopher, and the practice of an 
ideal teacher is that he imparts knowledge only to the extent to 
which it is called for by the occasion. Writers, on the other hand, 
are prone to go into the details of whatever they discuss. To look 
for the style of writers in the instruction and exhortation of teachers 
and benefactors is to give the proof of one's ignorance. If Fasting, 
Hajj and Jihad are not included in this Tradition, it must be 
because the questioner, at that time, needed, particularly, to be 
informed and persuaded about the four tenets stressed therein, 
perhaps, because people, generally, are apt to be negligent about 
them, i.e., the establishment of Salah, the payment of Zakah, . the 
fulfilment of the rights of kinsmen and the belief in the Oneness 
and Uniqueness of Allah. Even, today, we find that the number of 
defaulters among the people for whom fasting and the Hajj 
pilgrimage are obligatory is less as compared to those who are 
negligent about observing the duties of Salah and Zakah and 
fulfilling the rights of relatives, or who are guilty of open or 
concealed polytheism. Such persons will be very few who may be 
particular about Salah and Zakah and the rights of kinsmen but do 
not observe the fast of Ramadan or perform the Hajj although it is 
obligatory for them to do so. On the contrary, their number is 
legion who keep the fast when the month of Ramadan comes but 
do not offer Salah regularly or who have performed the Hajj but 
are sadly neglectful where Zakah and the rights of fellowmen, like 
join ties of kins are concerned. 

In another account of the same Tradition it is mentioned at the 

Book of Faith 


end that after the bedouin had gone away the Prophet ill said, "If 
he obsrves these commands strictly he will, surely, go to Heaven." 


While reporting the above Tradition the narrator has expressed 
his doubts on three occasions: 
One, whether the preceding narrator had used the word Khaiam 

or Zamam for the reins of the camel. 
Two, whether the bedouin had addressed the Prophet ill as the 

Messenger of Allah or Muhammad. 
Three, whether the Prophet 0 had said Laqad Wuffiqa or Laqad 
Hudiya in respect of the bedouin to the Companions 
It shows how very honest and scrupulous the narrators were in 
recounting and reporting the Traditions. If they were not sure about 
the particular word used by the preceding narrator they took care to 
put it on record even though it did not make the least difference to 
the meaning of the report. 

One can also obtain an idea of the benignity and kindliness of 
the Prophet $1 from the above Tradition. The Prophet $1 was on a 
journey, riding on a she-camel (and, naturally, the journey might 
have been for a religious purpose), when a bedouin who is a total 
stranger, comes up, holds the reins of the camel and puts to him 
bluntly the question mentioned in the Tradition. The Prophet 0, 
far from getting angry at the bedouin's unrefined behaviour, 
appreciates his religious keenness and drawing attention of the 
fellow-travellers observes, "He has been rightly-guided". Moreover, 
in order to give the Companions another opportunity to listen to 
the question directly from the bedouin's mouth he asks him to 
repeat it. He, then, gives the reply, and, finally, says politely to the 
bedouin, "Well, now leave the reins of my camel." 


The questioner, it should be remembered, was a mere 
wandering Arab, a nomad. 


Ui J'jSj U 4&L u*ty Jfi i}^ est 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

ouu, ^i, ^3 ^Lj ap^i jL^fo ja jia 
jil 4, V jia u» # iU J» jiii fr/jn ^Lj 

(6/6) It is reported by SayyidinaTahah ibn Ubaydullah that a 
man from Najd with untidy hair came towards the Messenger of 
Allah S (saying something). They could hear his voice but 
could not make out what he said (because his voice was not 
clear or that a distance separated them from him), till he was 
close to the Prophet S. He asked about Islam ("Tell me what 
the primary injunctions of Islam are which it is obligatory for 
me and every Muslim to follow.") The Prophet S said," The 
five times salah in day and night (that are fard and are the first 
duty in Islam)." He said, "Have I any other salah fard on me 
besides these?" The Prophet & said, "No, (Only these five 
Salah are fard), but you can at your own offer more Salah (than 
these five and get more reward)." The Prophet & then said, 
"And, once a year, fasting is prescribed for a month in Ramadan 
(this being the second duty in Islam)." He asked, "Is any other 
fasting necessary for me besides Ramadan?" The Prophet & 
said, "No (Only the fasts of Ramadan are fard) but you are 
allowed to observe more optional fasts at your will (receiving 
more nearness to Allah)." The narrator goes on to say that the 
Prophet 0 then mentioned to him the fard of zakah and he 
asked the same question, "Will it be necessary for me to give a 
sadaqah apart from zakahV The Prophet m said ,"No (only 
zakah is fard) but you are allowed to give optional Sadaqah at 
your will (and earn more reward)." The narrator Talhah ibn 
Ubaydullah 4&> said, "That man returned after that, saying 
'(Whatever the Messenger of Allah S has safd to me) I will not 
add to or deduct from it'." The Messenger of Allah & (heard 
him and) said "He has truimphed if he is truthful." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Book of Faith 


Commentary: Hajj, the last tenet of Islam, is not mentioned in 
this Hadith too. Perhaps, this happened before Hajj was prescribed 
in 8 A.H or 9 A.H. 

It could also be that the narrator chose brevity and omitted to 
mention those things although the Prophet $i> may have mentioned 
them. This is a possibility because a version of this Hadith in 
Bukhari has these words too: f^-Hi & 5 "(So, he informed 
him of the duties in Islam)." 


Xpr J> iUJ ,jL.j AlU'Al JU» ill J)J^ Jl! Jll jjl ^ ( Y/v) 
^ili (ill J*' # ^ i 1 **' ^! s^ 1 J\****& 

all)} f ji J* ^? 9' J~^> (»5UJLp Ji?j3 Sa 'its ji ^ j^-ls t_£iUj 

J>jj 4iJU» 03 41! ^1 j*j-\S OOJAj jPtW p» jl5 

(7/7) It is related by Abdullah bin Abbas 4b, "When the 
Messenger of Allah Wk sent Mu'az bin Jabal as the Governer of 
Yemen he told him [at the time of farewell]: 'You are going to a 
people who are Ahl-Kitab [i.e., profess a religion revealed and 
contained in the Scripture]. So, when you reach them invite 
them to the truth that no one is worthy of worship save Allah, 
and Muhammad is His Messenger. If they accept and affirm it, 
tell them that Allah has enjoined five prayers upon them during 
the day and night. If they also accept it, tell them that, in 
addition to it, Allah has enjoined Zakah upon them which will 
be taken from the well-to-cfo of the community and distributed 
to their poor and needy. If they agree to it as well, desist from 
laying your hands on the best of their wealth [while realising 
Zakah from them] and fear the cry of the oppressed for there is 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

no curtain between him and Allah." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: According to Imam Bukhari and some other 
scholars the Prophet had appointed Mu'az as the Governer of 
Yemen in 10 A.H., but according to most biographers and writers 
of Maghari in 9 A.H. And while bidding him farewell, he gave him 
these instructions regarding the preaching of Islam to its people. 
This has led some people to raise the question about this Tradition, 
too, that in it the Prophet lH has mentioned only Salah and Zakah 
though fasting and the Hajj had also been prescribed to the 
Muslims as a religious duty by that time. Various commentators 
have explained it in various ways but in our views the aim of the 
Prophet in giving directions of Mu'az was not to describe all the 
commands and obligations^that became bidning on a person when 
he embraced Islam but simply to indicate to him the sequence 
which should be followed in the preaching and propagation of 
Faith. All the tenets and requirements of Islam and laws and 
injunctions of the Shari'ah need not be placed at once before the 
people for, in that case, it may be hard for them to accept the Faith 
willingly. On the other hand, first of all, the creed of Divine Unity 
and mission of the Prophet Muhammad ill should be presented to 
them, and when they have accepted it, they should be told that 
Allah, who is the Lord Sovereign and the One and Only Creator of 
all the universe, has also enjoined five daily prayers upon His 
bondsmen, and when they have accepted it as well, they should be 
told that Allah has prescribed zakah on their wealth which will be 
realised from the rich and given away to the poor of the 

Be that as it may, the object of the Prophet iH was to expound 
the wise and more sensible principle of graduality, in the preaching 
of Faith, or else, the essential limits and laws of Islam were already 
known to Mu'az and it was not necessary to describe all of them to 
him on that occasion. 

Besides, salah and zakah are, undoubtedly, the two most 
important tenets of Islam and the greatest stress has been laid on 
them in the Qur'an partly for the fact that when anyone begins to 
carry them out habitually, it becomes easy for him to observe the 
other duties as well. In the disciplining of the self, also, the two 

Book of Faith 


duties play a vital role. Perhaps, it is for this reason that salah and 
zakah are. at many places, mentioned side by side in the Qur'an and 
the Sunnah. 

For example, it is stated in surah al-Bayyinah: 

(And they are ordained naught 

elsethan to serve Allah keeping "i&HjjlJj^J *}\ Sy^S Uj 
religion pure for Him as men „ , , 

by nature upright, and to fr Je-^ 9 ** 
establish worship and to pay ij^^W^y j a jl l^i^ij 
2hfei/?. That is true religion) „ 

(Al-Bayyinah 98:5) (o: 1 A i~3«)U^ll j£ uiJIij 

And it is stated in Surah At Tawbah: 

(But if they repent and y^, , mj- ^ 

establish Sa/tf/j and pay Zakah, 

then are they your brethren in 

religon) (Al-Tawbah9:l 1) (U:<\;LjsJl) 

And there is the Hadith narrated by Sayyidina Abdullah ibn 
Umar which we will see later: 

I am commanded to fight -fa j^j »f J 

people till they bear witness ^ " tf 

that there is no god but Allah %\ *i\ & Ijifif 

and that Muhammad is the ^ , ^ 

Messenger of Allah and they J*-"- J - uj-'j 

establish prayer and pay Sj^jjl Ijjjij SjlJaJl 


Thus these selection from Qur'an and Hadith give an aspect of 
mentioning Salah and Zakah only. But Allah knows best. 

The Prophet 0 after giving the directions to Sayyidina Mu'az 
advised him that when the time for the collection of zakah 
came he should refrain from picking out the best of the assessee's 
wealth [like agricultural produce and cattle] and take only those of 
the average standard. 

Lastly, the sacred Prophet 0 told him to guard against the 
imprecation of the wronged one [i.e., avoid being cruel and unjust 
to the people to whom he was being sent as the Governer] for there 
was no barrier between the cry of the aggrieved and the Almighty 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

In Musnad Hanbal the Prophet also, is reported to have 
said, on the authority of Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah 4^> 
"the malediction of the 

oppressed is accepted in any jlj 2uUjtsJL> ^Jikjl a^tfo 

case. If he happens to be an > : ..,,*> j '.r * % , i, 

evil-doer, the punishment for ^ o <^ta ^IS 

the evil-doing is on his person [i.e., the supplication of the 
oppressed against the oppressor is granted in spite of his 
sinfulness nad immorlity]." 1 

Likewise, in Musnad Ahmad, again, it is stated, on the 
authority of Sayyidina Anas *$e> that the Prophet 0 once said: 
"The malediction of the 

wronged one is granted even £lj iiU^ili ^'JLtl\ Vj*i 
though he is an infidel. There is , , r , , , „ , 

no obstruction in its path."2 ^ <j«5 ^ 

From the above Tradition we also learn that the recognition of 
the mission of the Prophet and the observance of the earlier 
Prophets and believers in the Scriptures belonging to the previous 
periods. To profess their former faith is now not enough for 
deliverance. The so-called educated Muslims of our time who hold 
that religous communities like the Jews and Christians can attain 
the good pleasure of Allah and salvation by adhering to their 
ancient ways of Law and it is not binding on them to follow the 
Islamic Shari'ah are either ignorant of Faith and its fundamental 
principles or mere hypocrites. 

O. Fath-ul-Bari and Umdah. 
©. Umdatul Qaari, 

Book of Faith 


He Cannot Attain Salvation Who Does Not 
Believe in The Messenger of Allah and Profess 
The Religion Brought by Him 

(8/8) Abu Hurayrah has related that the Messenger of Allah 
0 said: "By Him in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, a 
Jew or a Christian of the present Ummah [i.e., belonging to the 
pesent age] who hears about me [i.e., the call of my 
Prophethood reaches him] and, yet, dies without affirming faith 
in the religion brought by me will, surely, be among the 
dwellers of Hell." (Muslim) 
Commentary: The reference to the Jew and Christian in the above 
Tradition is only by way of an illustration. What it aims at 
emphasising is that when confirmed people of the Scripture, like 
Jews and Christians, can not achieve deliverance without 
acknowledging the Prophethood of Muhammad $1 and accepting 
the Islamic Shari'ah as their way of life, one can imagine what the 
end of the infidels and polytheists is going to be. 

This Tradition clearly implies that in the current era of the 
Prophet Muhammad S [which began with his raising up as the 
Messenger of Allah S and shall endure till the Last Day] anyone 
to whom the call of his Prophethood reaches but he does not 
believe in him nor accept the religion revealed through him as his 
own and dies in that state, will go to Hell, be he a Jew or a 
Christian, i.e., the follower of an earlier Prophet and his Book and 
way of Law. 

.In a nutshell, with the raising up of the Last of the Prophets m, 
salvation is not possible without affirmation of faith in him and 
acceptance of his Shari'ah. Whoever may not have received the 
knowledge of his mission or heard the call of Islam is. of course, 
free from guilt. It is a fundamental principle of Islam and any doubt 
or misgiving in respect of it can only be due to lack of appreciation 

1 02 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

of the true significance of the mission of the sacred Prophet iH. 

> Jjitf ^ ^ J\ j*j A* J15 a>U ^>U^ ^ ( VV; 
fifch Jf^-jj J**^ ^-r^ ^jUdl cJljt 

(9/9) It is related by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud that a person came 
to Prophet H and said, "O Messenger of Allah! There is a 
Christian who acts according to the Bible, and, in the same way, 
there is a Jew who obeys the commandments of the Torah and 
also believes in Allah and His Messenger, but does not profess 
your Faith nor accepts your Shari'ah — tell us, then, what is the 
verdict about them." The Prophet replied: "The Jew or 
Christian who received the knowledge of what 1 tell [i.e., my 
call reached him], and yet he did not become my follower is 
sure to go to Hell." (Daraqutni 1 ) 

Commentary: The above Tradition is even more explicit than the 
preceding one. It distinctly tells us that even though a Jew or a 
Christian believes in Allah and His Messengers (i.e., acknowledges 
the Oneness of God and the mission of the Messenger) but follows 
the Torah or the Bile in place of Shari'ah brought by the holy 
Prophet and regards it as sufficient for his salvation, he will not 
attain deliverance. The same truth has been propounded in the 
Qur'an in these words: 

Say: If ye love Allah, follow >.*> - , <i \>"> >. 

me. Allah will love you and , 

forgive you yours sins. p^j**i J ^ '^r^i 

(Aal-e-Imran3:3l) , ' 

O. This Hadith is narrated by Mawlana Badr Aalam in Tarjuman us Simna, v2 
and I have reproduced it from there. 


jii (juq ^ ^ s>:> ^ < , ./i . ) 

m'j^j u dJiijUi u »)ji5 ui^ uui ijji fa 
jtf ,iji*3i (^Lj apiat JL>> 4i j^ jiii uiStj utffl 
jii, ^ j jl cJUi ci\ k\ u jiii *jU 
ju* . JOiS j> J*^: tf'Ai jii ar^ \$* $'k\ £ii 

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SjSirf! /lai ^ />-u ^ ^ jii 
a* 'in JU) in j^3 jua ujJ cJuij ij^ J* i^iru jii 
£ xs, u# 4i ^afc «/ ,> ^53 ft i\ iJi v o» J^ai (( JLj 

(10/10) It is related by A'mash Tabi'ee, on the authority of his 
teacher, Abu Saiih [not being certain whether he had related it 
on the authority of Abu Hurairah or Abu Sa'eed al-KhudriJ that 
during the days of the Battle of Tabook when the stock of food 
had been used up compeltely and) people were tormented with 
hunger, they said to the Prophet &. Messenger of Allah! If you 
allow, we may kill the water-carrying camels and eat their flesh 
as well as obtain oil from them." The Prophet replied. "Yes: 
you may do it." Then, Umar came to him and said. "O 
Messenger of Allah! If you do that [i.e.. allow them to slaughter 
the camels], we will run short of transport. [Let it, therefore, not 
be done]. In its place, tell them to bring whatever provisions are 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

left with them, then, pray to Allah for an increase in the supply 
of food. It is hoped Allah will grant an increase in it." Yes; you 
are right," the Prophet replied. He, thereupon, sent for a 
large piece of leather (on which food is laid out). When it was 
spread on the ground, the Prophet ordered the men to bring 
what was left with them of the foodstuffs. Thus, somebody 
came with a handful of Zurra, 1 somebody with a handful of 
dates and somebody with a piece of bread till these articles were 
laid down, in a small quaintity, on the piece of leather. The 
Messenger of Allah iH, then prayed for an increase, and said to 
them, "Now, fill your vessels from it." They ail filled their 
vessels so that [in the army of about thirty thousnad] not a 
single vessel remained empty. Every one ate to his heart's 
content and some of the food was still left. On that the Prophet 
said, "I affirm that there is no deity save Allah and 1 am his 
Messenger. There is no bondsman who appears before Allah 
with these two affirmations made sincerely and without a trace 
of doubt or reservation and yet is prevented from entering 
Paradise." (Muslim) 

Commentary: The import of the above saying is obvious. The 
purpose of reproducing it here is related to its concluding part in 
which the Prophet 0, after bearing testimony to the Oneness of 
Allah and his own Messengership has declared that whoever 
affirms these two things, honestly and truthfully, and dies in that 
state shall go to Heaven. 

Those who are acquainted a little with the mode of expression 
of the Qur'an and the Traditions will be knowing that the testimony 
of Allah's Oneness and the Prophet's mission necessarily implies 
the acknowledgement of the religious call of the sacred Prophet ^ 
and the two affirmations by anyone is always taken to mean that he 
has accepted the Prophet's call and embraced the creed of Islam. 
This Tradition, therefore, signifies no more and no less than this 
that whoever, on the pronouncement of the formula of 
La-ilah-a-illa-l-la, Muhammadur Rasoolul-lah ( There is no diety 
save Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah), accepts the 
religious call of the Prophet^ and makes Islam his faith from the 
bottom of his heart and with full certainity and dies in that state 
O. A kind of com also known as Rum Dunu 

Book of Faith 


will, doubtlessly, go to Heaven. 

It logically follows that if a person makes a formal declaration 
of the formula of Faith but does not embrace Islam and continues 
to profess some other religion or acknowledges Divine Unity and 
Messengership but rejects the other principal tenets like belief in 
the Qur'an and the Hereafter, he shall not be worhty of the glad 
tidings contained in the above Tradition. 

In fine, in this saying the testimony of Unit of Allah and the 
mission of the Prophet stands for the recognition of the religious 
calls of the divine Messenger and the acceptance of Islam as one's 
faith. The other Traditions in which the tidings of the Paradise are 
given only on the affirmation of Divine Unity and the 
pronounciation of La-ilaha-illalAah also convey the same 
meaning. These are, in fact, the familiar and spiritual message of 
the Prophet 0 and the embracing of the faith of Islam. 

This Tradition also shows, incidentally, that:- 

(i) However great or important a man may be, even if he is 
Messenger of Allah, if he expresses his opinion on anything 
and a follower or servant of his, endowed with a sound 
judgement, feels that it is erroneous or harmful, he should not 
hesitate to place his considered view respectfully before him 
and the person of higher rank or position should, on his part, 
think calmly over it, and, if it appears to be a better and wiser 
suggestion, accept it in preference of his own idea. 

(ii) The granting of a supplication and, specially, the manifestation 

of the acceptance thereof in a supernatural manner, is among 

the signs of Allah and an exceptional indication of devoutness 

and His favour that it is the source of the promotion of inner 

happiness and tranquility among the believers is beyond 

dispute. It is a legacy of Messengership as is evident from the 

recitation of the confessional Formula by the holy Prophet. 

Those who feel inquietitude instead of joy at the mention of 

such Divine rewards and treat the reports of miraculous. 

O. It should be clear that the manifestation of a supernatural even is a sign of 
devotion to Allah and of His good pleasure only when it comes to pass through 
the instrumentality of a person whose life is openly one of virtue and 
righteousness while if it is performed by a non-Muslim whose conduct is 
evidently not worthy of the Shari'ah, it is Istidruj in theological parlance. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part / 

happenings like these with contempt and ridicule are, in fact, 
spiritually sick and victims of a diseased mentality 

(11/11) Ubada ibn Samit has related to us that he heard it 
from the Prophet % that Allah has forbidden theiFire of Hell to 
touch him who testifies that there is no god save Allah and that 
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah with a true heart.(Muslim) 

Commentary: In this Tradition, too, the affirmation of Divine 
Unity and the mission the Prophet signifies the acceptance of 
the call of Islam. The testimony that there is no deity but Allah, and 
Muhammad 0 is His Messenger encompassed the whole of Islam, 
and whoever declares it to be true makes the whole of Islam his 
faith. If, after that, he succumbs to the weakness that are peculiar to 
man and commits a sin, his religious consciousness will compel 
him to made amends for it through the prescribed methods of 
repentance and atonement, and, Insha Allah, he will, thus, be saved 
from the Punishment of Hell. 

J4fa4*& J^^^jdlT JlSJ^-^iUi^ 

> ± 33 dii ^ # iu;u jil Ji 3L, ^ ^.jJ^j 
% cii jil iUii j£ j> > j^u ^jju- J* jts JCjul.) 
^ 1/ yL; fljiUS idi J*k & jil jUt 4^33 

jil jUi 4^3 'in dii i)U iUji ^ u ^ jJb > 

(12/12) Mu'az ibn Jabal has narrated once he was riding on 
the same camel with the Prophet with only the rear part of 

Book of Faith 


the saddle separating them [i.e., he was sitting very close to the 
Prophet]. The Prophet 0 called him "Mu'az ibn Jabal. "Here I 
am. At your service", he replied. Then, again, after a little while, 
he said, "Mu'az ibn Jabal. "Here ! am. At your service." he 
replied. On the third occasion, the Prophet III said, 'Do you 
know what is the claim of Allah on His slaves?" "Allah and His 
Messenger know best". Mu'az replied. The Prophet iH* 
observed, "The claim of Allah upon His bondsmen is that they 
worship Him and obey Him and associate no one with Him." 
Then, after travelling for some time, he said, "Mu'az ibn Jabal". 
Here I am. At your servcie", he replied. The Prophet said, 
"Do you know what is the claim of the bondsmen o A Hah?" 
Allah and His Messenger know best", he replied. "It is that He 
does not punish them," said the Prophet." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: A few points are worthy of note in this Tradition. 

(i) The way in which Sayyidina Mu'az has mentioned the 
fact of his riding on the camel with the Prophet $§l and sitting so 
close to him at His back before narrating the main Tradition can be 
due to various reasons: 

Firstly, the special affection of the Prophet Hi had for Mu'az 
4^>, and the place of great trust and confidence he enjoyed with 
him ought to be kept in mind in order to understand why the 
Prophet life chose to tell Sayyidina Mu'az something he did not 
want to be made known to the general body of Muslims, as is clear 
from the succeeding Tradition. 

Secondly, by describing the event, item by item, Sayyidina 
Mu'az ^ might have meant to emphasise his certitude about the 
Tradition, that he remembered the Tradition so well that even the 
minute details were prescribed in his memory. 

Thirdly, since the lovers are given to prolong the description 
of what transpired during the memorable moments spent in the 
company of the beloved so as to derive the utmost pleasure from it, 
Sayyidina Mu'az 4fe>. too, might have related in detail the event of 
his riding with the Prophet on the same camel. 

Fourthly, The Prophet Hi called Sayyidina Mu'az ^e> thrice, at 
brief intervals, and, then, at the third time he related the first 
portion of what he had to tell, and when he calling him the fourth 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

time he spoke of the second portion. The commentators have 
explained it by suggesting that the Prophet S, perhaps, wanted to 
draw Sayyidina Mu'az $k> attention fully so that he listened 
carefully to what he was going to say. Another explanation can be 
that the Prophet iH had not decided whether to tell it to Sayyidina 
Mu'az or not, and he told him only when his mind was fully 
made up, but to us, both the interpretations are rather far-fetched. 
What appears more probable is tha the Prophet ill was seized with 
an unusual state of feeling at that time. He addressed Mu'az and, 
then, before he could say anything got lost in thought. Hence, the 
intermissions. But Allah knows best. 

Fifth, The substance of the Tradition is that the claim of Allah 
upon the bondsmen is that they should worship and obey no one 
save Him and ascribe no partners to Him, and if they did so and 
fulfilled the claim, Allah has accepted for Himself the right of the 
bondsmen that He would not bring down His punishment upon 

In the above Tradition, also, worshipping of Allah and keeping 
away from polytheism stands for the acceptance of Islam and 
observance of its tenets, and since during those days the doctrine of 
divine Unity was the main dividing line between Islam and 
paganism, it has been made the starting point in this as well as 
many other sayings of the Prophet ill. Besides worship of Allah 
and avoidance of polytheism marks the indispensable characteristic 
of Islam, and therfore, it is often used to signify the Islamic faith 
itself. The view [that in this Tradition worship of Allah and 
abstention from polytheism denotes the aceptance of Islam as one's 
creed] is further supported by another report of it [which we are 
going to reproduce below], again from Bukhari and Muslim, in 
which belief in and affirmation of Divine Oneness and 
Messengership also mentioned, and in yet another version, Salah 
and fasting are spoken of as well along with the testimony of the 
Oneness of Allah and mission of the Prophet Hi. 

J>> J* iLY, Sliij jtfij 4*% £p $ S« ^ tf-Or/W) 

Book of Faith 


(^i-^ j t« »i jj) • ^ 1* iUi t# 1 ji^i 

(13/1 3) It is related by Anas bin Maalik 4fr that the Prophet 0 
called Mu'az when he was travelling with him on a camel 
and said, "O Mu'az!" "Here I am, O Messenger of Allah Hi 
replied Mu'az. The Prophet % again, said, " "O Mu'az!" "Here 
I am, O Messenger of Allah 0! replied Mu'az. "Do command". 
It happened thrice. [At the third time] the Prophet Hf? observed, 
'Whoso affirms with a true heart that there is no god but Allah 
and Muhammad is His Messenger, Allah has forbidden the Fire 
of Hell to touch a person." Mu'az <^>, on hearing the glad tiding, 
asked the Prophet $1, "May 1 tell it to the people so that they all 
may be happy." They will then, rely solely upon it and sit back," 
the Prophet replied. This Tradition was related by Mu'az 4* 
on his dying day for fear of being called to account for 
concealment of knowledge." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: The similarity of the opening portion of the two 
Traditions shows that they concern the same incident. The only 
difference between them is that while the first employs the phrase, 
"worship of Allah and avoidance of polytheism," to signify the 
acceptance of Islam, the second expresses it in the testimony of the 
Oneness of Allah and the Messengership." 

Again, in another report the above tidings [as reproduced in 
Mishkaat from Musnad Ahmad] Mu'az has mentioned salah 
and fasting also along with Divine Unity. It reads: 

"Whoever appears before Allah ^ J$\iJ y%\ 'J& ^ 

in such a state that his skirt is / '' - ' t \ 
free from the stain of fj-i* j J-IaJI ^^ij 
polytheism and he offers jjfor^ u^y. 

regularly the five daily Salah V* j*>-o J 
and observes fasting, he shall JlS &\ J j-j j U 

be forgiven." 

[Mu'az adds that] he said to the Prophet S, "Messenger of Allah! 
If you permit me, I may communicate the happy tidings to every 

Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part ! 

one." The Prophet 11 said, "Leave it. Let them do their deeds." 

Although the mode of expression in the three reports is 
different and there is some variation of presciseness in the choice 
of words, the purport of all of them, is the same, viz. whoever 
accepts sincerely the call of Faith and Islam [the fundamental tenets 
of which are abstention from polytheism, affirmation of Divine 
Unity and Messengership and observance of salah and fasting] for 
him is Allah's firm promise of deliverance. 

Those who conclude from such saying that acknowledgement 
of Diviing Unity and Prophet's mission will protect one from 
chasisement and the Fire even if beliefs are unsound and sins are 
committed - they do not appreciate the true significance of these 
Traditions. And they also reject hundreds of other Traditions [and 
even Qur'anic verses] which do not conform to their warped 
judement and are clearly in contrast with their wishful thinking 

(May Allah protect us from ^j^uaW) 

pL) J^k fa) ^ Jt5 Jll ^ J> iU, o i/\ i) 

(14/14) It is related by Mu'az that the Messenger of Allah 
told that the testimony (-UJt *i\ *}) (there is no deity save 
Allah) is the key to Heaven." (Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: In this Tradition, also, only the testimony of Divine 
Oneness has been spoken of. and here, too, it means the 
recognition of the call of Faith and the acceptance of Islam as one's 
creed in the same way as the pronuncement of the Kalimah denotes 
the embracing of Islam. The Muslims and the non-Muslims alike 
regarded the testimony of Divine Oneness and of Messengership as 
equivalent to the profession of the Islam. 

iS'j ^3 h\ 3 J is ' 3S-> 6)3 J*] <Sl3 fa i\ J* 
6>3 J>3 d\j ^ ' 613 J 5 ] o!3 J 1 * o!3 J*3 <5v3 cia 

Book of Faith 1 1 1 

} ^ o» jj> . ji ^ j Jl* 3 > 6! 3 i^j & j J 15 ' 3> 

(15/15) Abu Zarr Ghifar 4jb relates, [One day] I went to the 
Prophet but he was alseep, covered with a while mantle. 
[After some time], ! went again and found that] he was awake. 
He said, 'The bondsman who says There is no god but One 
Allah and dies in that state shall go to Heaven'." Abu Zarr 4& 
relates that he exclaime, "Even if he commits theft? Even if he 
commits adultery?" The Prophet & replied. "[Yes]! Even if he 
has committed adultery [and] even if he has committed theft." 
[Abu Zarr goes to relate that] he again exclaimed, "Even if he 
commits adultery, even if he commits theft?" The Prophet m, 
again, replied, "Yes ! Even if he has committed adultery [and] 
even if he has committed theft." [Abu Zarr relates that] once 
again, he asked with astonishment, "O Messenger of Allah! Will 
anyone who had affirmed La Ilaha U-Lailah go to Heaven even 
if he has committed adultery [and] even if he has committed 
theft?" The Prophet 0 remarked, "Yes". In spite of Abu Zarr 1 
[he shall go to Heaven] even if he has committed adultery [and] 
even if he ahs committed theft." (Bukhai i and Muslim) 

Commentary: In this Tradition, again, the pronouncement of the 
formula of Faith, La llaha ll-Laah, denotes the acknowledgement 
of the entire creed of Monotheism [i.e., Islam], and it is beyond 
doubt that whoever will do so with a truthful heart shall go to 
Heaven. In case he has committed a sin, in spite of being a 
Believer, Allah will admit him to Paradise, forgiving him his sins 
and without punishing him for his misdeeds if he is deserving of 
pardon, and, supposing he is not worthy of pardon, he will yet go 
to Heaven after undergoing punishment. Whoever believes 
sincerely in Islam shall, at all events, enter Paradise even if after 
passing through a spell of chastisement in Hell. 

Sayyidina Abu Zarr 4k> put the same question to the Prophet, 
over and and over again, probably because it appeared to him 
rather strange that a person who had been guilty of such mortal sins 
as adultery and theft could find a place in Heaven. Till then, this 
precept had not come to his knowledge. We find it hard, today, to 
understand the hesitation of Abu Zarr because we have been born 

O. An Arabic idiom is used here: even if Abu Zarr does not like it to happen. 

I 1 2 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

into Islam and have learnt these elemantary principles in the natural 
way at home. But Allah knows best. 

•> jj> i j^i %\ i\ iji V-Sii 3*3 ou 

(16/16) It is related by Uthman ibn 'Affan 4& that the 
Messenger of Allah said, "Whoso died knowing with 
complete certainty that no one was worthy of worship aside of 
Allah shall go to Paradise." (Muslim) 

Commentary: In this Tradition, also, the state of complete 
certainty in the truth of La Ilaha-iULallah signifies the state of 
faith in the entire creed of Monotheism and the gaining of 
admission into Paradise denotes what we have explained earlier, 
i.e., every believing man shall go to Paradise either straightaway, 
by the Mercy of Allah, or after underegoing punishment for his 
transgressions, depending on what the balance-sheet of his deeds 
on earth calls for. 

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Book of Faith 


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((*A-^J jl»vJ» «'JJ) 

(17/17) It is related by Itban ibn Maalik [and he is one of the 
Ansar Companions of the Prophet who fought in the Battle of 
Badrl] "[Once] I presented myself before the Messenger of 
Allah $jfe, 'My vision has become impaired and I lead the people 
in congregtional Salah. Thus, when it rains and the small stream 
that lies between my house and the houses of my people begins 
to flow it becomes impossible for me to go to their mosque and 
lead the congregation. O Messenger of Allah ill! [therfore] 
request you to come to my house and offer Salah there so that I 
may make the spot [where you offer worship] the permanent 
place of worship for myself.' The Prophet replied, Insha 
Allah, I will do that." On the very next morning, when the day 
had advanced a little, he and Abu Bakr came to my house and 
the Messenger of Allah W* sought my permission to enter. 1 
gave him the permission. When he came in, he did not sit, but 
asked me, 'What place do you prefer in your house where I may 
offer the Salah?" I pointed towards a part of the house, upon 
which the Prophet stood up and commenced the Salah after 
saying Allah-u-Akbar. We, also, stood behind him in a row. The 
Prophet ill offered two raka'at and turned his face in salutation. 
I requested him to stay and part take of the Khazeera 2 we had 
prepared for him. [On hearing about the Prophet's $jl> presence] 
some of the neighbours also came and joined in the meal. Then 
one of them asked, 'Where is Maalik ibn Dukhaysh [or Ibn 
Dykhsha]?' Someone from among them replied, 'He is a 
hypocrite. He has no love for Allah and His Messenger.' The 
Prophet Hl> remarked, 'Do not say so. Do you not see that he 
believes in La Ilaha IIIAllah and seeks the good plasure of Allah 
through it?' The same person said, 'Allah and His Messenger 
know best. We [on our part], find that his sympathy and 
inclination is towards the hypocrites.' '[Verily], replied the 
Prophet. 'Allah has forbidden the Fire of Hell for anyone who 

O. The first war fought by the Prophet @u (623 AD) in the defence of Faith. 
©. A kind of dish made up of meat, flour and spices. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

has said La Ilaha 111 Allah with a sincere heart and whose 
intention is nothing but to seek the countenance of Allah 
through it." (Bukhari and Mulsim) 

Commentary: Again, the forbiddin of the Fire of Hell for any one 
who recites the Kalimah, La llaha III Allah denotes what we just 
said while explaining the sayings of the Prophet belonging to the 
same category. Further, in the report appearing in Sahih Muslim, 
Yash-hudu La llaha IllAllah [affirmed there is no god hut One 
Allah] has been mentioned in place of Qala La Ilaha III Allah [said 
there is no god but One God], but both the expression convey the 
call and the adoption of the faith of Islam. As we have seen 
already, during the days of the Prophet $1 it was the popular way 
of indicating the acceptance of Islam as one's religion. 

The Companions c<$$> who had described Maalik ibn Dukhayshin 
as a Hypocrite knew of no transgression on his part except that he 
kept the company of the Hypocrites and was on friendly terms with 
them. From it we can know how sentitive the Companions were 
with regard to Faith. Even a minor thing like this was so repugnant 
to them that they denounced it as hypocrisy. The Prophet's 0 
admonition, further, carries the lesson that if weaknesses like these 
are present in some people but they are earnest in their affirmation 
of Divine Unity and Messengership it will not be correct to 
mistrust them or to condemn them so severely. Rather the aspect of 
faith and belief is stronger. 

We must remember that Maalik ibn Dukhayshin was a 
Companion who took part in battles including Badr. Perhaps he 
had some reason to keep company of the hypocrites like Hatib ibn 
Abu Balta'a^. But Allah knows best. 

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u jta cia u Js&^u ;tf * ^Lj $3*'* JL#> J3^3 

to 4I; ^ &3;> ci^i ^3 ^ Jj-^j 

^3 ^ 'in > J3^3 <63^ «fc J"^ J^- 

(18/18) It is reported by the Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah 4& that 
they were seated around the Prophet 0 one day. Sayyidina Abu 
Bakr 4fa and Sayyidina Umar 4&> were also there. The Prophet 
0 got up (and went out somewhere). He did not return for a 
long time and they were worried about that lest he may have 
come to harm (from an enemy). So, they went out (to look for 
him) and Abu Hurayrah said that he was the first to set out 
to look for him. He reached the garden of Banu an-Najjar a 
family of the Ansar; it was enclosed in four walls. He went 
round it but could not find an entrance till he found a (small) 
round irrigation (duct) which began at a well outside and went 
inside the garden. So, he squeezed himself and entered the 
garden along it and found the Prophet iH there. He said, "Abu 

Meaning and Message of the Traditions Pari I 

Hurayrah!" And he replied: "Yes! O Messenger of Allah 
He asked, "Why have you come?" He replied, "O Messenger of 
Allah! You were seated with us but went away. You did not 
return, so wc worried lest you should have come to harm. So, 
we all came out worried about the danger and 1 was the first to 
come out till I came to this garden. When I could not find an 
entrance, I squeezed myself like a fox and came in and the 
others are coming behind me." The Prophet iill then gave him 
his sandals, saying, "Take my sheos and whoever you meet 
outside the garden, who testifies sincerely from the core of his 
heart that there is no god but Allah, give him the glad tidings of 
Paradise." The first man he met was Sayyidina Umar 4^e> who 
asked. "Abu Hurayrah, why the sandals in your hand?" He said 
"These belong to the Prophet who has sent me with them to 
give glad tidings of Paradise to the one who 1 meet and who 
testifies to 4J» ^) *Jj ^ (There is no god but Allah)." Sayyidina 
Umar hit him with his hand on his chest which caused him 
to fall down on his hips and he said, "Return back!" He returned 
to the Prophet ^ weeping and Umar ^ followed him. The 
Prophet $H asked him, "What has happened to you, Abu 
Hurayrah?" He said, "I met Umar and I conveyed your message 
to him but he gave me a hard blow on my chest so that I fell 
down on my hips and he asked me to turn back." The Prophet 
Hi asked Umar <^£>, "O Umar, why did you do that?" He said, 
"May my parents be ransomed to you. Did you send Abu 
Hurayrah with your sandals that if he met anyone who testifies 
to <UJ» *sli <di t (There is no God but Allah), he should give him 
glad tidings of Paradise?" The Prophet &!l confirmed that he 
had sent him with that message. Sayyidina Umar *$k> said, "O 
Messenger of Allah, do not do it, for I fear people may rely on 
the testimony (and neglect deeds). So, let them perform deeds." 
The Prophet Wt said, "So, leave them alone." (Muslim) 

Commentary: Some things need to be explained in this Hadith. 

(i) Why did the Prophet 0 give his sandals to Sayyidina Abu 
Hurayrah ^? The most plausible explanation is that the Prophet 

gave them to him as a sign of authority for the message was 
important and at that time, he did not have anything apart from his 
sandals to give him. 

(ii) The stern attitude of Sayyidina Umar ^> may be understood 

Book of Faith 1 1 1 

if we realise that he (and Sayyidina Abu Bakr 4&>) had a special 
relationship of confidant, counsellor and assistant with the Prophet 
0 which the Companions & recongised. Sayyidina Umar 4& had 
this right and often used it in dealing with other Companions 
Perhaps, as a senior, he had asked Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah 4& to 
return but he may have hesitated because he was carrying an 
important message for all Believers which was an auspicious duty 
for him and which he was unwilling to relinguish. Therefore. 
Sayyidina Umar 4& compelled him to return, confident as he was 
that he would convince the Prophet ft of the negative side of the 
message. Indeed, the Prophet ft agreed with him and prevented 
Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah ft from publicising the message. 

We must remember that Sayyidian Mu'az 4& had asked 
permission to let other people know when the Prophet ft had 
given him the same tidings but the Prophet ft had disallowed him 
for the same reason as extended by Sayyidina Umar 4*> now. 
. (iii) Even this Hadith gives glad tidings of Paradise against a 
testimony of the Kalimah % *1\ 11. A general explanation is the 
same as forwarded against the earlier Ahadith but there is a fair 
amount of hint in this Hadith that such a one would first have to 
undergo punishment against sins. Then he will surely go to 
Paradise; that leaves no doubt whatever. 

There is also another aspect to this declaration. Those who are 
very close to Allah sometimes experience tremendous awe and fear 
on the disclosure of divine wrath and retribution. At such times 
they feel that no disobedient one will gain salvation, so they 
declare that sinners will not enter Paradise. Similarly, when they 
experience unlimited hope against divine Mercy and benevolence, 
they feel that even a little good will save one and they declare 
accordingly. Shirazi has described this condition thus: 

Hence, it is a safe conjecture about this Hadith that when 
Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah ^> met the Prophet ft in the orchard of 
Banu Najjar, he was lost in comtemplation of the unlimited mercy 
of Allah. It was in that condition that he gave his sandals to 

Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah 4&> instructing him to convey the news of 
Paradise to every witness of unity of Allah. However. Sayyidina 
Umar was aware of these extremes of temperament and 
conditions so he prevented Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah from 
conveying the news to others till he had investigated it with the 
Prophet 0. We can also say that Sayyidina Umar had sensed 
the peculiar condition the Prophet's heart was going through 
(experiencing the unlimited mercy of Allah), and Allah had 
disclosed it to him. He had also realised that once the Prophet 0 
came out of that condition he would see the other side of the 
declaration, and disallow the spreading of the news. It was a 
distinguishing feature of Sayyidina Umar 4* that he read the true 
facts in this way. 

Another Principle that Answers 
Doubts of This Kind of Ahadith 

In interpreting Qur'anic verses or Ahadith of this type we must 
remember a principle. The speaker aims at bringing out the 
individual qualities and true effects of such tidings irrespective of 
the results of other deeds. It is like recounting the potency of a 
medicine; for example, a particular treatment may prevent cold but 
it does not follow at if, at the same time, a man consumes spicy and 
sour delicacies, he will remain immune from cold. 

Thus, the message of such Ahadith is simply that a 
confirmation of unity of Allah and the Mission of the Prophet is 
conducive to admittance to Paradise and deliverance from 
chastisement in Hell. However, if he has also performed wicked 
deeds against which the Qur'an and Ahadith have warned of 
punishment then obviously they too will show their effect to some 

If we keep before us this simple point then it will be very easy 
for us to understand the Ahadith which promise reward and 
encourage good deeds. 

Book of Faith 


(19/19) It is related by Anas 4fr that the Prophet H said, "They 
all will be taken out of Hell who said, La Ilaha IUAIlah and 
there was even a barley grain's weight of good in their hearts; 
then they, also, will be taken out who said La Ilaha IUAIlah and 
there was a wheat grain's weight of good in their heart; and then 
they, also, will be taken out who said La Ilaha IllAlah and there 
was an atom's weight of good in their hearts. (Bukhari and Muslim) 
Commentary: This Tradition, once more, confirms the view that 
the pronouncement of the Kalimah La Ilaha IUAIlah signifies 
acceptance of the entire creed of Islam and shows that all those 
will, ultimately, be taken out of Hell who recite the Kalimah and 
profess Islam, and possess any amount of good [i.e., the light of 
Faith] in their hearts. In this Tradition, the word Khayr has occured 
thrice and we have translated it as good. But in another report 
[which also has been mentioned in Bukhari] the word Eeman 
[Faith] is used instead of Khayr which strengthens the view that 
here stands for Light of Faith. 

Two most significant points emerging from this Tradition 
which form a part of the universeally accepted principles of faith. 

(i) Many people will be cast into Hell on account of their evil 
deeds though they may have affirmed faith in the Kalimah, La 
ilaha IUAIlah. 

(ii) If in their hearts there will be the least amount of Faith Lor, 
in the words of the Tradition, even of the weight of an atom], they 
will, eventually, be taken out of Hell. It cannot be that a Believer of 
the lowest order lives permanently in Hell alongwith infidels and 
polytheists, however sinful his earthly conduct might have been. 

In Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, Traditions conveying the 
same meaning have also been related on the authority of Sayyidina 
Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri 4&>, Sayyidina Jabir 4*> and Sayyidina Abu 
Hurayrah 4$>, and, in other compilations, on the authority of 
Sayyidina Abu Bakr 4& Abu Musa and many other 
Companions <&. According to all authorities the point under 
discussion is proved from the Prophet 0 through successive 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

Traditions. In the detailed version of the above Tradition of 
Sayyidina Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri «4^>, contained in Bukhari and 
Muslim, it is candidly stated that the faithful who have attained 
salvation will pray earnestly for forgiveness of sinful Muslims who 
will have been thrown into Hell and Allah will allow them to go 
and take out of Hell everyone in whom they saw even a 
dirham's 1 weight of good. Consequently, a large number of 
persons answering to this description will be taken out. Next, 
permission will be given to them to go and take out of Hell 
everyone in whom they saw even ha\f-a-dir ham's weight of good. 
Consequently, a large number of persons answering to this 
description will also, be taken out. Afterwards, they will be 
commanded to go and take out everyone in whom they saw even an 
atom's weight of good. Thus, a large number of persons belonging 
to this group will also be taken out. Ultimately, the intercessors 
will, themselves, declare, "Our Lord! Now, we have left no one in 
Hell who possessed any amount of good." Allah will, then say: 
The aimels have intreceded, the 

Prophets have interceded, and OjlJt o^fUJl CjulA " 
the Faithful have interceded, *\ '-''4 '." *r 

and the intercession of all of r <3*i rJ 

them has been accepted. Now, £y * jr* J&JO 

only the turn of the Most i i t> , 

Merciful among those who • ^ ' ' H 

show mercy remains." 

He will, thereupon, take out of Hell, by His Own Hand of 
Forgiveness and Mercy, even those who will not have to their 
credit even a single act of virtue. About such people it is also 
mentined at the end of Abu Sa'eed's 4*> Hadith that: 

"they will be the ones set free * * , i 

by Allah. He will admit them to 

V) s± 

Paradise, sans the deed they 
may have performed and sans 

the good they may have done." ."oj*.A3 
During the early centuries of Islam the sects of Murjyah and 
Khawarij had gone the way of 'excess and curtailment' in respect of 

O. A silver coin now extinct. 

Book of Faith Ui 

this doctrine and, even now, the inclination of some people is 
towards 'excess' and, of others, towards 'curtailment'. We, therefore, 
thought it fit to discuss it at some length here. 

And Allah guides to the Right j, ^l* ^ J^iil} 

Path, whom He wills. * ' ^ , . 


All Previous Sins are Forgiven 
on Acceptance of Islam 

aijj) . *o -jir u f 44; ^tii S'j ^ 6^ u f 443 5>^3» 

(20/20) it is related by 'Amr ibn al'Aas 4*> "when the idea of 
embracing Islam was planted in my heart by Allah I presented 
myself before the Prophet 0 and said, "Extend your hand so 
that I may offer hay'ah" 1 . He. extended his right hand but when 
I withdrew my hand, he asked. 'What happened to you, 'Amr?' 1 
said, '1 want to lay down a condition.' 'What is the condition that 
you want to lay down?' enquried the Prophet 'It is', 1 
replied, 'that all my [previous] misdeeds be forgiven.' The 
Prophet 0 observed, 'O 'Amr, do you not know that the 
profession of Islam does away with all previous sins, and Hijrah 
also does away with all previous sins, and the Hajj also does 
away with all previous sins?' (Muslim) 
Commentary: Apart from the acceptance of Islam, the holy 
Prophet S also spoke of the efficacy of Hijrah and the Hajj in the 
remission of sins in order to emphasise that, what to speak of 
Islam, some of it rites, too, possessed the property of washing away 
the sins. Two things, however, must be remembered. Firstly, the 
embracing of Islam, the doing of Hijrah and the performance of 
Hajj are effective only when these are carried out with a pure heart. 
Secondly, it is a settled fact that, from the point of view of the 
O. A solemn pledge of allegiance given to a leader by his followers and binding 
them to absolute obedience. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

Shari'ah, if a person has transgressed against the rights, specially 
of a montetary nature, of fellowmen, such an act [or acts] will not 
be forgiven on the acceptance of Islam or the carrying out of the 
Hijrah or performance of the Hajj. It is essential to clear up the 
account, in this respect, with the aggrieved and to pay back their 
just claims. 

In the Qur'an, also, the remission of previous sins has been 
promised to those who embrace Islam and give up for good the life 
of infidelity and polytheism. 

[O Muhammadl, tell those who 

disbelieve that if they cease [to I^-j £t 0*A^ J*" 

disobey Allah and His r\ "\' \i * * 

Messenger] that which is past be O 03 U ^^iw 

forgiven to them. (Al-Anfal8:38) ( r A:A iW) 

iil^Jl joUdi j£Jb ju; 

(21/21) It is related by Abu Sa'eed al Khudri that he heard' 
the Messenger of Allah say, "When a person embraces Islam 
and his Islam is [also] good, the sins he [previously] committed 
are forgiven by Allah due to the blessedness of Islam, and, after 
that, the requital of all his good and evil deeds is that on every 
good deed he is rewarded [by Allah] from ten to seven hundred 
times, and, on every evil deed, he is punished [by Allah] for one 
evel deed except that Allah may overlook that, too, and forgive 
him altogether." (Bukhari) 

Commentary: It shows that the remission of previous sins on the 
adoption of Islam as one's faith is subject to the condition that the 
beauty of Islam spreads through one's life [i.e., one's heart and soul 
are lit up with its radiance and the body and the outward 
appearance get adorned with loyalty and submission to Allah], This 
is what and his Islam is [also] good means. Thus, if anyone's life 
remains bereft of the elegance and effulgence of Islam and his 
entire existence- the hidden as well as the manifest- does not get 

Book of Faith 


dyed in its hue even after entering into its fold, the promise of the 
remission of past misdeeds will not hold good for him. 

Further, the remunerative law of every good deed fetching the 
reward for ten to seven hundred times is meant only for those who 
have produced some of the beauty and radiance of Islam in their 
lives and their virtuous deeds will count tenfold to 
seven-hundred-fold in proportion to it. 

Life and Property Become Secure 
With The Acceptance of Islam 

Jail £l C^t ^U'in JU ill J_^j JlS JlS jle 'J. ( Y Y/Y Y ) 

i\ iiiij tiu ^ ^ Ail $ts aJt v ijijC J^- 

((JL-j» j <J jts*Jl «l j j) . &\ { Js- 4jL*j^'j 

(22/22) It is related by Umar *s^> that the Messenger of Allah 
said, "I am commanded to wage war against the people until 
they testify that no one is worthy of worship aside of Allah. 
Thus, whoever, affirms La Ilaha UlAUah obtains the security of 
his life and property except for rights of Islam, and his 
reckoning is with Allah." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: The above Tradition was narrated during the 
discussion that took place between Sayyidina Abu Bakr ^> and 
Sayyidina Umar on the question of taking up arms against the 
tribes that had refused to pay Zakah after the death of the sacred 
Prophet H. 

The pronouncement of La Ilaha UlAUah signifies again the 
acknowledgement of the call of Islam and just as in the foregoing 
Traditions salvation and the attainment of Paradise has been set 
forth as the ultimate sequel of affirmation of faith in Islam, in the 
present one the security of life and property is held out as its 
worldly and logical outcome. 

The Holy Prophet moreover, has enunciated a most 
important principle concerning Jihad. He has declared that the sole 
object of Islamic Wars is to lead the bondsmen on the path of 
loyalty and submission and to deliver them from eternal 
chastisement. The life and property of everyone are, therefore, 
secure if he accepts the divine Faith, renders wholehearted 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

obedience to Allah and moulds his life as ordained by Allah. 

Together with it, the phrase. "Except of the right of Islam", 
makes it clear that if, after embracing Islam, he commits an act that 
is punishable under Divine Law, he will, of course, have to suffer 
for his offence and the affirmation of La Ilaha UlAllah and the 
profession of Islam will not give him protection against the 
punishment legally prescribed. 

Likewise, "His reckoning is with Allah" implies that whoever 
will pronounce the Kalimah before us and declare himself to be a 
Muslim we will end the hostilities against him and treat him as a 
faithful Believer. If, however, he is insincere and there is deceit and 
falsehood in his heart, he will have to answer for it before Allah on 
the Day of Final Judgement, for. He is the Knower of Invisible and 
Well-informed of what is concealed in the hearts. 

The above Tradition has been reproduced, almost in the same 
words, in Sahih Muslim, on the authroity of Sayyidina Jabir and 
Sayyidina Tariq Ashja'ea and some other Companions c^> also 
have narrated reports conveying the same subject-idea in greater 
detail which makes it easier for us to understaind its significance. 
We will here take up a few of these reports. 

•>> o>» jis fa &%\ JU> J^j jp s>:> 4} & <xmr) 

(23/23) Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah has related that he heard 
the Messenger of Allah $H say, "I am commanded by Allah to 
wage war against people until they testify that there is no deity 
save Allah and profess faith in me and in the guidance that I 
have brought. Thus, when they do so, they obtain the security of 
life and property except for the rights of Islam, and their 
reckoning is with Allah." (Muslim) 

Commentary: In the above Tradition faith in the Prophet's m 
mission is also mentioned in addition to the testimony La Ilaha 
III Allah which goes to confirm that the acknowledgement of La 
Ilaha III Allah expounded in the previous Trdition implies the 

Book of Faith 


accetpance of the creed of Islam. 

(24/24) It is related by Abdullah ibn Umar 4^ that the 
Messenger of Allah f$$& said: "I am commanded to wage war 
against the people until they affirm that there is no god except 
Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger and establish Salah and 
pay Zakah. If they begin to do all this they obtain from me the 
security of life and property except for the claim of Islam, and 
their reckoning is with Allah." (Bukhai i and Muslim) 

Commentary: The estabslishment of salah and payment of zakah 
are also spoken of besides the affirmation of Divine Oneness and 
Messengership. In truth, these two tanets have been mentioned by 
way of an example otherwise it signifies the acceptance of the 
entire creed of Islam. 

LjjU i)L>3 UjiU btf i'kvi] ti\ i JaJi jjlii -,1 

(25/25) It is related by Anas ibn Maalik that the Messenger 
of Allah ^ said: "1 am commanded by Allah to wage war 
against the people until they believe in La Ilaha IllAllah. Thus, 
when they believe in La Ilaha IllAllah and observe our Salah 
turning their face towards Our Qihlah and partake of the meat 
of the animals slaughtered by us, their blood and their 
possessions are forbidden to us except for the claim of Islam, 
and their reckoning is with Allah." (Bukhari) 

Commentary: The offering of Salah. and the turning of the face 
towards the Qihlah of Islam and the eating of the flesh of the 
animals killed by Muslims for food are also specified along with 
the testimony Divine Unity. But, here, too, their significance is 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

symbolical, and the purport of this saying, like those of the 
preceding Traditions, is that our war against any people is solely 
for the sake of Faith and for leading mankind along the path of 
Truth. Hence, it is forbidden to us to inflict pain or punishment on 
those who forsake the life of infidelity and choose for themselves 
the Strainght Path as laid down by Allah. Since during those days 
the chief visible signs of Islam were that a person offered his 
prayers in the manner of Muslims and turned his face toward the 
House of Ka'bah 1 when at prayer, and did not abstain from the 
flesh of the animals slaughtered by the Muslims, the Holy Prophet 
ill has mentioned them here as the outward symbols of Faith. 

In a version of this very Hadith in Abu Dawood the words: 
k\ J* j are replaced by the words ^ j j-J-~J3 u ^ 

j-«Jl~Ji meaning that not only is our war over with them but that 
they are also entitled to the rights of Muslims and have the same 
responsibilities as Muslims have. 

Clarification:- A cursory glance through these Traditions is 
likely to give rise to an objection which has been mentioned by 
some commentators, and, then, also disproved by them in various 
ways. It is that in Islam the principles of Jizya 2 and the contracting 
of a treaty on suitable terms, too, are generally recognised and war 
comes to an end with any of these. But from the above Traditions it 
appears that hostilities will cease only when people have accepted 

In our view, the object of these Traditions is not to formulate 
rules for the termination of warfare. Through them, the Prophet iH 
has only sought to make it clear that the sole aim and purpose of 
taking resort to arms in Islam is that people worship no one save 
Allah and follow the Stright Path (i.e., they embrace Islam), and, 
further, that the life and property of all those who accept the call of 
Faith would be safe and they would enjoy complete equality with 
the other Muslims so far as rights and duties were concerned. 

As for Jizya or a peace-treaty under special circumstances and 
on specific terms, though these are ways of putting an end to 

O. The place towards which the lace is turned at prayer at Makkah 
©. Head tax imposed by Islam on non-Muslim people of the Book under 
Muslim rule. 

Book of Faith 


warfare, the real purpose of an Islamic w ar does not lie in them. 
Hostilities are stopped by these means because a peaceful way is, 
thus, opened for the realisation of the fundamental objective, viz, 
the preaching and propagation of Faith. 

Some Outward Signs of Faith 

h & *>aS» •JQiJI &sii J^j tlhu Ju* 

(26/26) It is related by Sayyidna Anas ibn Maalik that the 
Messenger of Allah m said: "Whoso offers Sakih like us, and 
turns his face towards our Qiblah and eats the flesh of the 
animals we slaughter — he is a Muslim and for him is the 
protection of Allah and His Messenger. So, do not break the 
ovenant of Allah concerning His protection." (Bukhari) 
Commentary: It needs be kept in mind that when during the 
ministry of the Prophet the call of Islam was spreading rapidly and 
it was not infrequent the people accepted faith about whom one 
could not be sure that they had done so sincerely. The above 
Tradition is, particularly, in respect of them. Through it the 
Prophet iH wants to impress upon the Companions & tnat tne y 
should have no reservations about anyone being a Muslim in whom 
the rudimentary outward indications of the acceptance of Islam 
were present, such as, the offering of Salah as Muslims do, the 
turning of face toward their Qiblah when at prayer, and the eating 
of the flesh of the animals slaughtered by them. His life and 
property should, accordingly, be held to be in the protection of 
Allah and His Messenger and they must refrain from taking any 
steps against him simply on the suspicion that he was not a Muslim 
at heart and had accepted Islam only as a hypocrite. 

It will, also, be the height of folly to infer from this Tradition 
that whoever possess those visible signs remains a Muslim no 
matter how heathenish or polytheistic his beliefs and actions are. 
Such a person has nothing to do with Islam. To regard him a 
Muslim will be to show that Islam is merely the name of a few 
eremonies and rituals. Nothing, evidently, can be more misleading 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

and fallacious. 

A Muslim Does not Become an 
Infidel Because of an Evil Act 

jj,t ^ s^lJ fa &%\ JL>> J* J* ^ & (XV/Y V) 

jji .(j j) j& $< ousyi j jii* r> ^ ^ 

(27/27) It is related by Anas ibn Maalik 4fr that the Messenger 
of Allah said: "Three things are included among the 
fundamentals of Islam: one, to hold one's tongue in respect of a 
person who believes in' La flaha IllAllah [i.e., he should not be 
condemned as an Infidel because of a sin or deemed to have 
gone out of the fold due to a misdeed]; two, Jihad has been 
[operative] from the time I was raised up and will remain so till 
the lime the last batch of this [the Muslim] community will 
wage war against Dajjal 1 [i.e., whether the Muslim rulers are 
just or tyrannical Jihad will hold good and no one can abolish 
it]; and. three, belief in the doctrine of predestination." 

(Abu Rawood) 

Commentary: In this Tradition three things have been declared to 
be among the essential tenets of Islam. The first is that no one who 
believes in La Ilaha IllAllah should be called an infidel because of 
commission of a sin nor a judgement passed against him of having 
renounced his faith. 

It is of primary importance here to note that belief in La Ilaha 
IllAllah means exactly what has been repeatedly stressed earlier, 
viz., to accept Islam by acknowledging the call of the Prophet m. 
We have seen how during the days of the sacred Prophet the 
term, affirmation of La Ilaha IllAllah, was, generally, used to 
denote the embracing of Islam in the same way as idiomatic 
language of the prononcement of the Kalimah signifies the 
choosing of Islam as one's faith. 

Besides, it is forbidden to call anyone an infidel who believes 
in the Kalimah of Islam. The Prophet S. so to speak, has 

O. Suindler, imposter, Anti-Christ. 

Book of Faith 


forewarned against the folly the Mu'tazila and the Khawarij were 
to commit later. They hastened to codemn a person as having 
ceased to be a Muslim on the grounds of sinfulness or an evil 
conduct. The practice of Ahl-us-Sunnah, in the light of the above 
dictum, therefore, is that they do not regard anyone to have 
forfeited the right to be a Muslim owing simply to having 
committed a sin. 

The purport of this part of the Tradition, in any case, is that if 
anyone takes to wrong-doing after he has pronounced the Kalimah 
and embraced Islam, he should not be branded as an apostate or 
condemned as an infidel. It does not, of course, includes men who 
may themselves renounce the Faith by rejecting any of its principal 

Suppose there is a person who has pronounced the Kalimah 
and calls himself a Muslim but does not believe in the Divine 
origin of the Qur'an or repudiates the concept of the Last Day and 
the Hereafter or lays a claim to Divinity or prophethood, he will, 
naturally, cease to be a Muslim and become an infidel. It will, 
nevertheless, not be due to any sinfulness or lewdness on his part 
but to the rejection of a fundamental article of Faith. 

It is essential to bear in mind the basic difference between the 
two postitions. Some people make a grievous mistake in the 
application of the above Tradition because they fail to appreciate 
its real significance. 

This Tradition declares that Jihad is anulled if, at any time, the 
government of the Muslims passes into unworthy hands. It will not 
engage in Jihad because the rulers are corrupt or unjust. Whether 
the Government is good or bad, Jihad will have to be undertaken at 
its command provided that it really is Jihad and not corruption or 
venality in its name. 

Branches of Faith 

(28/28) It is related by SayyidinaAbu Hurayrah that the 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

Messenger of Allah 0 said: "Faith is composed of seventy and 
odd branches of which the highest is belief in La Ilaha IllAlla 
[i.e., the testimony of divine Oneness] and the lowest is the 
removal of a hindrance from the road, and the sense of modesty 
is an important branch of Faith." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: Some authorities are of the opinion that the 
expression, "seventy and odd" occurring in this saying denotes only 
a multitude. The Arabs, often, use the number of seventy when 
they want to emphasise the abundance of a thing and the phrase, 
"senventy and odd" has been used here to tend a greater force to it 1 . 
Others say that it stands for seventy-seven departments of Faith. 2 
But these interpretations are purely speculative and open to endless 
argument. What sounds more reasonable is that the Prophet & did 
not want to fix an exact number but only to indicate profusion and 
to say that Faith was composed of many parts and modesty was one 
of them. Had there been a definite figure in his mind he would not 
have rest content with a vague and general statement but explained 
it fully and enmuerated all the seventy or seventy-seven branches. 

By the "Branches of Faith" are meant the deeds and virtues and 
internal and external states that should follow as a natural outcome 
of the ingress of Faith. Just as a verdant tree bears forth leaves and 
fruits, virtuous acts, good morals and noble states of thought and 
feeling are the offshoots of Faith though their grades are different. 

The testimony of the Oneness of Allah has been described in it 
as the highest and the removal of a hindrance from the path as the 
lowest branch of Faith. Now, whatever good or virtuous acts can 
be imagined between the two grades constitute the departments or 
branches of Faith, whether they appertain to the rights of Allah or 
to the rights of men and their numbers will, naturally, run into 

Modesty has, particularly, been mentioned as forming an 
important part of Faith. There can be two reasons for it. 

(i) Someone may have falllen short of the Islamic standard of 
modesty at that time and the Prophet 0 wanted to correct him 
through the admonition, as the way is with sagacious teachers 

O. Umdatul Qaari Sharh, Sahih Bukhari and Mirqatul Mafatih Shrah, 

Mishkaatul Masabih. 
©. Fath al-Bari, Umdatul Qari, etc. 

Book of Faith 


and wise reformers, on seeing the crucial place the sense of 
modesty occupied in the moral scheme of things. 

(ii) The Prophet l$l might have thought it appropriate to lay a 
special stress on it. Modesty is the moral characteristic which acts 
as a preventive to numerous sins and follies, and, as such, there 
obtains a special affinity between it and Faith. 

Modesty is not to be observed only in relation to human beings. 
The Almighty Creator comes first. Generally, a person who does 
not entertain respect for his elders and behaves reprehensibly 
towards or before them is considered to be shameless and 
impudent, but no one is more unfortunate and isolent than him who 
feels no shame before Allah and knowing that He sees and hears 
everything yet does all sorts of dirty and deplorable things in His 

Accordingly, if the sense of modesty is alive and active in a 
person, his life will not only be clean in the sight of fellowmen but 
he will also commit very few acts of transgression against the 
claims of Allah. 

It is stated in Tirmidhi that once the Prophet 0 observed, 
while speaking to the Companions 4&>: 
Practice modesty towards Allah 
as it ought to be practised 
towards Him." Allah be 
praised," replied the 
Companions ijfe, "We practice 
modesty towards Him". "No", 
the Prophet iH said, "It is not 
that. The proper way of 
observing modesty towards 
Allah is that you take care of 
the head and all the notions and 
ideas that are contained in it 
[i.e., protect the mind against 

evil thoughts and the stomach against unlawful food], and 
remember what your state in going to be on death and in the 
grave after death. Whoever does so, know that he fulfils the 
duty of observing modesty towards Allah as it ought to be." 

yfo £j£\ /bj 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

Signs and Fruits of Faith 

(29/29) It is related by Abu Umamah 4$ that a person asked the 
Messenger of Allah S, "What is Faith?" He said, "If you feel 
pleasure at a good act that you do and pain and sorrow at an evil 
act, you are a truthful Believers." (Masnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: It shows that one of the distinctive signs of Faith is 
that when a person performs a noble deed he feels joy in his heart 
at it, and when he commits a wicked deed, it makes him sad. As 
long as this subjective sense of right and wrong is present in a man 
it should be supposed that the spirit of Faith is alive within him and 
this feeling is its fruit and outcome. 

Prerequisties of Faith 

(30/30) It is related by Abbas ibn Abdul Mttalib &> that he, 
heard the Messenger of Allah A say: "He tasted the flavour of 
Faith and experienced its sweetness who is pleased at heart with 
Allah as his Lord, Islam as his religion, and Muhammad as his 
Messenger." (Muslim) 
Commentary: Just as all delicious foods possess a flavour which 
can only be perceived if one's faculty of taste is intact and not 
perverted due to illness or any other cause, there is also a special 
sweetness in Faith which can be enjoyed by those alone who have, 
willingly and earnestly, made Allah their Lord and Master, 
Muhammad 0 their Prophet and guide, and Islam their religion 
and way of life, and whose hearts have bowed in submission to 
Allah and yeilded in obedience to the Prophet and assented to be 
the adhearents of the path of Islam. In other words, their bond with 
Allah, the Prophet and Islam is not merely formal, hereditary or 
intellectual but real, sincere and genuine. 

Book of Faith 


4^J £j j Ui 1}-. Cm £i ^ ^j'-i' d'A 6< a^V' ^ ^ j 

(31/31) Anas has related that the Prophet m said, "Only he 
will taste the sweetness of Faith who has these qualities: his 
love of Allah and the Prophet is greater than everythig else, he 
loves whom he loves solely for the sake of Allah, and the idea of 
reverting to disbelief after he has embraced Islam is as 
repugnant to him as being thrown into fire." (Bukhari and Muslim) 
Commentary: The subject-matter of this Tradition is almost 
identical to that of the preceding one. It says that the sweeetness of 
Faith can only be perceived by him whose love for Allah and the 
Prophet & is stronger than for anyone or anything else in the 
world, so much so that when he loves somebody, it is wholly for 
the sake of Allah, and who is so deeply devoted to the Islamic faith 
that the very idea of leaving it and reverting back to infidelity is as 
painful to him as being cast into fire. 

<fL+ j <S jt*Jl rtjj) ^ J f^JJ C* 4\ J* 

(32/32) It is related by Sayyidina Anas that the Messenger of 
Allah H said: "None of you believes unless his love for me 
exceeds the love he has for parents, children and all men." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: It shows that Faith can attain perfection and a 
Muslim can become a faithful Believer only when his love for the 
Prophet A is greater than for any other person, even his parents 
and children. 

In the preceding Tradition the love for Allah, the Prophet m 
and the Islamic faith being stronger than for anyone or anything 
else in the world was declared as essential for tasting the sweetness 
of Faith while in this Tradition only the love for the Prophet & has 
been mentioned. But love for Allah, the Messenger and Islam is 
basically the same. True devotion to Allah and Islam is not possible 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

without devotion to the Prophet and true devotion to the 
Prophet j£& cannot be imagined without devotion to Allah and 
Islam. Love for the Prophet Osjk, in his capacity as the Messenger of 
Allah, will, of course, be for the sake of Allah and out of deep 
attachment to Him and love for Islam will, instinctively, stem from 
it. It is for this reason that love for the Prophet J& alone has been 
stressed in this Tradition, otherwise what it means is that the 
blessings and radiance of Faith can accure only to those in whose 
hearts love for Allah and the Prophet $1 and Islam is strong 
enough to submerge all other ties and affections. 

Commentators have, however, differed in their interpretation of 
these Ahadith, and, as such, many people are apt to be confused 
about its meaning though the principle it lays down is very simple. 
Love is a well-known word and the idea it expresses is also widely 
understood. It is in the same traditinal sense that it has been used 
here. The love the Believers have for Allah, naturally, is not due to 
the ties of blood or any other physical factors as the case is with the 
affection one feels for one's parents, wife and children. It is, 
essentially a mental and spiritual state, and, when it attains 
perfection, all other forms of affection which are rooted wholly in 
blood or emotion are put in the shade by it. Anyone who has been 
blessed in some measure with this attachment and yearning will 
have no difficulty in appreciating the basic significance of this 

In brief, love in all these sayings denotes the same tender 
passion, the same feeling of the heart which is commonly known 
by the name and this is exactly what is demanded of us here. 

The Qur'an says: 

Those who believe are ^iaH^^jJlj 
stauncher in their love for ' 
Allah. (AlBaqarah 2:165) 

And also: 

Say [O Muhammad]: If your , , , 

fathers, and your sons, and (H *h' j f ft? 6^ h\ J* 

your brethren, and your wives, *g ^ 

and your tribe, and the wealth ^ ' * ' ' , 

you have acquired, and *3^3 ^y^f^^ JO^J 

Book of Faith 


merchandize for which you fear 

that there will be no sale, and 

dwellings you desire are dearer 

to you than Allah and His 

Messenger and striving in His 

way: then wait till Allah 

bringeth His Command to pass. 

Allah guideth not wrong-doing 

folk. (Al Tawbah 9:24) 

As it is distinctly stated in these verses, the love of the 
Believers for Allah, the Prophet S and the Islamic faith must be 
stronger than for all the lovable objeclts in the world. Without it, 
the contenance of Allah cannot be gained, nor His special guidance 
obtained, nor can Faith acquire perfection. 

Once this stage is reached, it will not only be easy for anyone to 
observe this duties of Islam and to carry out the commands of 
Allah and the Prophet & but he will also derive a pleasure even 
from laying down his life for the sake of Faith. Conversely, a 
person in whose heart the love for Allah and His Messenger is not 
entrenched firmly will find it most difficult to keep to the everyday 
Islamic injuctions and to obey the common religious precepts. At 
best, it will become a routine affair, a tendiously automatic 
procedure. Hence, it has been said that unless the love for Allah 
and the Prophet H governs and has the control of all other 
attachments and affections the true station of love cannot be 
attained nor its sweetness percerived. 

O Allah! 1 beg of Thee Thy ^ j 3^ U5}3t ffi 

love and the love of him who ' t # f 

loveth Thee and the conduct .<-£f" Jl^.'A J**^ J 

that will enable me to attain Thy love. 

ijkj 4*%\ JU> Jtf Jilj jl> & & (rr/rr) 

(33/33) It is related by Abdullah bin Amr 4fc that the Messenger 
of Allah 0 said: "None of you can become a Believer unless 
his lusts become subservient to the guidance I have brought." 

(Sharah us-Sunnah) 

g±J>j Uilli' ls'j£A3 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

Commentary: It shows that the state of true Faith and its spiritual 
blessings can be gained„when worldly inclinations and carnal 
appetities are controlled and governed by the Prophet's 0 

The entire order of good and evil is based upon Hawa [lust] and 
Huda [Guidance]. Man's success or failure, good fortune or 
ill-luck, is related to them. All wickedness and wrong-doing 
ensures from the lustful dictates of the flesh in the same way as 
every virtue originates from abiding by the guidance brought by the 
Prophets f'A-Ji ^A*. 

The state of genuine Faith can, thus, be attained only by 
subordinating the propensities of the self to heavenly instruction 
and whoever becomes a slave to lust and cares nothing for 
Prophetic guidance destroys the very purpose of Faith with his own 
hands. It is about such people that the Qur'an has said: 

Hast thou see him who ST-ittlitt 

chooseth for his God his own J r ' * " J 

lust? (AlQasas 25:43) 

And also: 

And who goeth farther astray 

than he who followeth his lust Jju Oj* ^Jl J0» J^l 
without guidance from Allah? ' - j, t { „ 
Lo! Allah guideth not **** * *' Oi & 
wrong-doing folk. p.zrh^o&jfoffl 

(Al Qasas 28:50) S 

J± fa\ * Jtf jtfi J J+$&<t*&<T l/r I) 

(34/34) It is related by Anas ^0 that the Messenger of Allah ill 
said: "None of you can be a Believer until he desires for his 
brother what he desires for himself." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: For attaining the true state of Faith and partaking of 
its singular blessings it is essential that man should be free from 
selfishness. He ought to be so genuinely interested in the welfare of 
his brethren as to desire for them all the good things, benefits and 
advantages he desires for himself and to dislike for them all the 
conditions and circumstances he does not like for himself. Without 

Book of Faith 


it, Faith cannot acquire perfection." 

In the version of this very Hadith in Ibn Hibban, instead of the 
words: ^*J^-i y'y. *i these words are found: jU#i ^ &t *i. It is 
clear from this that in every Hadith when the words *Jl appear 
they do not imply a negation of faith. Rather, they suggest an 
imperfection of faith. It is with every langauge that an imperfect 
thing is spoken of in this way; for instance, we call someone who 
is cruel, inhuman though we do not mean to say that he is not a 
human being. It is this expression in some Ahadith which (has 
not believed or is not a Believers). Therefore it is wrong to 
succumb to oratory and show a poor knowledge of theProphet's 
temperament (and go by the literal meaning). 

^ 'j> p 5 4*%\ p $ jb & fi J> iU; 'j> (ra/ro) 

(35/35) It is related by Mu'az ibn Jabal *^>that he enquired from 
the Prophe f ill about superior Faith [i.e., asked what was the 
highest grade of Faith and through what deeds and virtues could 
it be reached]. The Prophet m replied, "It is that you love 
whom you love solely for the sake of Allah and hate whom you 
hate solely for the sake of Allah [i.e., friendship and enmity 
should be entirely for His sake]; and, secondly, that you keep 
your tongue engaged in the remembrance of Allah." "What 
else?" he further asked. "That you desire for others what you 
desire for yourself and do not desire for others what you do not 
desire for yourself," the Prophet $£> said." (Ahmad) 
Commentary: Three things have been mentioned in the above 
Tradition by the Prophet H without which perfection in Faith is 
not possible, (i) Friendship and enmity solely for the sake of Allah; 

(ii) Keeping the tongue occupied in remembrance of Allah; and 

(iii) Goodwill for the bondsmen of Allah to the extent of desiring 
for them what one desires for oneself and disliking for them what 
one does not like for oneself. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

(36/36) It is related by Abu Umamah that the Prophet S 
said: "He who loves or hates, offers favours or withholds them, 
for the sake of Allah, truely perfects his Faith." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: A perfect Muslim in the sight of Allah is he who 
succeeds in subordinating his entire conduct — thoughts, feelings 
social relations and all other affairs — to the Will of Allah so much 
so that when he establishes or breaks relations with anyone or 
gives or declines to give anything to anybody, he does so wholly 
for the pleasure of Allah; in short, when all his sentiments and 
inclinations, such as, love and hatred, and deeds and actions like 
offering or withholding a favour begin to take shape solely for the 
sake of Allah and cease to be influenced by his own urges and 
impulsions. When this state of submission to the Will of Allah is 
reached by anyone, his faith attains perfection. 

S S s 

(37/37) It is related by Abdullah ibn Abbas that the 
Messenger of Allah $S& said to Abu Zarr Ghifari *i^>: "Tell [me], 
which department of Faith is stronger [i.e., among the 
departments of Faith which is more long-lasting]?" "Allah and 
His Messenger know best", replied Abu Zarr *^>. The Prophet 
$&) remarked, "Friendliness and mutual cooperation for the sake 
of Allah, love for anyone for the sake of Allah, and hatred and 
enmity against anyone for the sake of Allah." (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: It shows that among the various states and stages of 
Faith the strongest and most enduring is that in which the 
behaviour of a person towards anyone, whether of cooperation or 
opposition, love or hatred, is determined wholly by the desire to 
please Allah and to carry out His commands and not by any 
personal wish or sentiment. 

Book of Faith 


H'fa Jis Jii sjl> ( r A/r A) 

(38/38) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4$£> that the Messenger of 
Allah Ufa said: "You cannot enter Paradise unless you are 
Believers and you cannot be truthful Believers unless there is 
reciprocal love among you. May I tell you a thing that will 
produce affection in your midst if you act upon it? It is to spread 
the custom of Salaam among yourselves and to make it 
common." (Muslim) 

Commentary: From the foregoing Traditions we learn that for 
perfection in Faith it is essential to hold Allah, the Messenger and 
Islam dearest to our hearts and whatever love and affection there 
might be for anyone or anything, aside of them, should be wholly 
for their sake and that we are free from selfishness and our 
condition should be that we desire, or do not desire, for other what 
we desire, or did not desire for ourselves. The present Tradition 
adds that Faith cannot attain perfection unless there is mutual love 
and cooperation among the Believers. If there hearts are devoid of 
fellow-feeling and affection for each other it should be taken for 
granted that the reality of Faith will not dawn upon them and they 
will not be able to partake of its true blessings. 

j^'io Jlp JdUli *1a\ ja ja$\j a^jj yes <yt 5 j *4 *» * ft 

(39/39) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of 
Allah H$k said: "A Muslim is he from the mischief of whose 
tongue and hand the Muslims are safe and a Momin [Believer] 
is he from whom people do not feel their life or property 
threatened." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: The mischief of the tongue and hand has been 
mentioned specifically in this Tradition for the reason that, 
generally, distress is caused to others by means of these two 
organs, or else what is sought to be conveyed simply is that it is 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

unworthy of a Muslim to be a source of fain or discomfort to 


From Ibn Hubban's account of the same Tradition it appears 

?4o «M & ft* 'J* 

A Muslim should be friendly and in offensive towards every 

It is worth remembering that the infliction of pain which has 
been condemned as un-Islamic in this Tradition signifies only that 
which is without a legitimate cause otherwise to punish the guilty 
and to put down the high-handedness of the oppressor and the 
mischief of the evil-doer, provided that one has the authority to do 
so, is a matter of duty -with the Muslims. Without it, there can be 
no peace and happiness in the world. 

(40/40) It is narrated by Abu Shurayh Khuza'i that the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said, "By Allah, he is not a Believer! By 
Allah, he is not a Believer! By Allah, he is not a Believer!." 
Someone asked: "O Messenger of Allah who is not a 
Believer?" The Prophet replied, "Whose neighbour is not 
secure from his mischief." (Bukhari) 

Commentary: Our conduct towards the neighbours should be so 
good and honourable that they feel completely secure from us and 
entertain no fear of viciousness or injustice from our side. It is one 
of the imperatives of Faith without fulfilling which no one can 
hope to be a faithful Believer. 

Two other Traditions of the Prophet bearing the same 
import read; 

"Treat your neihghbours 

kindly; then you are of those L^ji^JclSjtsr J^jV^'j 
who believe." (Tirmizi) (ur^> T « JuL*) 

Book of Faith 


"He who believes in Allah and 
the Last Day will never harm a 
neighbour." (Bukhari) 

•*s*r cJ£ ty*3 cr* - ^ ^ ^ 

(41/41) It is related by Abdullah ibn Abbas <^> that he heard the 
Messenger of Allah & say: "He is not a Believer who eats his 
fill while his neighbour is hungry." (Baihaqi) 
Commentary: It shows that a person who eats to his heart's 
content and gives no though to his starving neighbour is unblessed 
with the Teality of Faith thought he may have been a Muslim for 
seventy generations. An attitude of crelty and selfishness like this 
is wholly inimical to the spirit of Islam. 

As Muslims we must see how we deal with our neighbours and 
cratures of Allah. We must examine that in the light of these 
Ahadith and see where we stand. 

(42/42) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4*> that the Messenger of 
Allah & said: "Among the Muslims more perfect in Faith is he 
whose manners are better." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: Perfection in Faith depends on good manners and 
noble qualities of mind and character. Thus, a person will be as 
perfect in Faith a his moral disposition is praiseworhty. Or, we 
might say, good moral qualities are the natural outcome of 
perfection in Faith. It cannot be that a person is blessed with the 
reality of Faith and yet his morals remain imperfect. 

(cW'ii v** J ^ ji*Mj jj) -^k ifc (&\ ■ 

(43/43) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4fr> that the Messenger of 
Allah & said: "Among the virtues of Islam is that a man avoids 
thatwhich is meaningless and vain."(Ibn Majah, Tirmizi and Baihaqi) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Pari I 

Commentary: Man is the noblest of creations and Allah has made 
him exceedingly precious. He should refrain from spending his 
time aimlessly and squandering away his capabilities. On the other 
hand, by putting them to proper use, he should develop his 
personality as much as possible and earn the countenance of Allah. 
This is the essence of all religious teachings and the basic aim and 
purpose of Islam. Hence, the blessed one who seeks to perfect his 
Faith must not only keep away from open sinfulness and 
immorality but also from all unprofitable activities including 
unavailing conversation and devote his time and natural abiliteis to 
pursuits that possess some element of gain or virtue, i.e., are 
necessary and pruposeful from the point of view of both the 

People who waste their time and energy in aimless talk and 
futile activities do not realise how very valualble Allah has made 
them and what a priceless treasure they are frittering away. 

»i j j) . Ji_^ a^- fl Uft(i 

(44/44) It is related by Abdullah ibn Masood that the 
Messenger of Allah $1 said: "There were some worthy disciples 
and Companions of every Prophet raised up by Allah in any 
community before me who followed his path and obeyed his 
commands. Afterwards, it so happened that their heirs and 
successors turned out to be men of no value whose condition 
was that they did not practise what they preached [i.e., told 
others to perform good deeds but did not do so themselves or 
boasted to be virtuous while, in fact, they possessed little moral 
goodness, and, thus, told a lie in order to impress those around 
them with their devoutness and to flaunt their spiritual 
superiority], and perfromed deeds they had not been 

Book of Faith 


commmanded to perform [i.e., they did not adhere to the way of 
their Prophet and instead of abiding by what he had prescribed 
or sanctioned, indulged freely in evil-doing and making 
invocations in Faith]. Thus, whoever strove against them with 
his arm is a Believer, and whoever strove against them [due to a 
constraint] only with his tongue, also, is a Believer, and 
whoever [finding himself powerless to strive even with the 
tongue] strove against them only with his heart [i .e., merely felt 
anger and hatred towards them] is, also, a Believer. But without 
it {i.e., in the absence of any of these conditions] there is no 
Faith, not even of the weight of a mustard-seed." (Muslim) 
Commentary: It shows that to strive against the sinful and 
hypocritical heirs and followers of the Prophets f*-J* and other 
spiritual leaders with the arm or the tongue, as the circumstances 
permit, or, in the last degree, only to feel revulsion against their 
wickedness and display of insincere piety is one of the essential 
requriements of Faith. Anyone who does not possess even their 
inner urge for such a kind of Jihad is, so to speak, totally devoid of 
the warmth and awareness of Faith. The next Hadith calls it 
wreakest kind of Faith. 

The command of Jihad against the erring successors of the 
Prophet fSJi ^ and whorthless spiritual leaders, as contained in 
the above Tradition, means that endeavour should be made to 
correct them and to bring them to the right path, failing which 
something should be done to put an end to their false spritiual 
headship and hereditary influence so that people do not fall a prey 
to their deception. 

(fLJ i&f ^¥ 

(45/45) It is related by Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri that the 
Messenger of Allah ft said: "If anyone of you sees a sin being 
done or a wrong being perpertrated, he should [if he is in a 
position to do so] try to eradicate it by force, and if that be not 
possible, he should try to eradicate it by raising his voice against 
it,- and if that, too, be not possible, he should feel sore about it in 


Meaning and Message of (he Traditions Part I 

the heart [and think of possible ways of removing the evil]. This 
last state is the weakest state of Faith. (Muslim) 

Commentary: In the preceding Tradition Struggle against the 
depravity and corruption of a particular class of men was enjoined 
as a requisite of Faith while in the present one a general command 
has been given for making strenuous efforts, in keeping, of course, 
with one's situation, to remove or set right every mischeif and 
transgression. Three grades of it have been set down in this 

(i) If one is in power and the evil can be eradicated by means of 
it, force ought to be employed to root it out. 

(ii) If power and authority are not in one's hands, effort should 
be made to remove evil.through persuasion and good counsel. 

(iii) If the curcumstances are so adverse and the Believers in 
such a weak and helpless position that it is not possible even to 
raise one's voice against wickedness and imorality, the last stage is 
that it should be considered honestly to be hateful and vicious and 
an earnest desire be felt in the heart to prevent it. In that way, one 
will, at least, pray to Allah to suppress it and also think out 
methods of its extermination. 

According to the above Tradition, this is the weakest state of 
Faith which means that, after it, the question of the existence of 
Faith does not arise. 

(46/46) Narrates Sayyidina Anas $9 that it was rare that the 
Prophet 4$^ delivered a sermon in which he may not have said: 
"In whom there is no trustworthiness, has no Faith; he who does 
not fulfil the promise made by him has no religion." (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: Anyone who is not trustowrthy and does not fulfil 
the promise when he makes one is unblessed with the reality of 
Faith. As we have indicated earlier, Traditions like it do not mean 
that such a person altogether ceases to be a Muslim and becomes 
an indfidel. They simply show that the essence and effulgence of 
Faith is not present in a man like him, i.e. his Faith is lifeless and 
of a very poor quality. 

Book of Faith 


Actions And Moral Habits 
That Are Inimical to Faith 

.Jiiii ^ JLi; ur ju#' M3 l\ ^ j 4* 

(47/47) Bahz ibn Hakeem has related from his father Hakim, on 
the authority of his grandfather, Mu'awiya ibn Haidah Qushairi, 
that the Messenger of Allah i$| said: "Anger spoils Faith as aloe 
spilshonye." (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: Anger, of course, is destructive to Faith and when it 
takes possession of anyone he unhesitatingly crosses the limits 
prescribed by Allah and does things that are ruinous to Faith arid 
are likely to bring him down in the estimation of Allah. 

(48/48) Aus bin Shurahbil has reported that he heard the 
Messenger of Allah 0 say: "Whoever sets out to help the 
oppressor knowing that he is an oppressor goes out of the fold 
of Islam." (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: When to support injustice and to help the 
oppressor, in any form, knowing well that he is an oppressor, is 
such a mortal sin in Islam that the holy Prophet 0 has declared 
that anyone who does so forfeits his claim to be a Believer, it can 
be imagined how inimical cruelty and injustice are to Faith and 
what place do those who are cruel and unjust occupy in the sight of 
Allah and the Prophet %. 

(49/49) It is related by Abdullah ibn Masood 4&> that the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "A Believer is not one to indulge 
in taunting and crusing nor does he use intemperate and 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

indecent language." (Tirmizi and Baihaqi). 

Commentary: It shows that to utter oaths, curses and blasphemies 
and to indulge in violent, vulgar and abuse language is contrary to 
the spirit of Islam and a faithful Believer ought to be free from 
these habits. 

jiJLij aIAp %\ J^p k\ iXy^'A Js? Jt (J'j^ 9 (° * 1° * ) 

(50/50) Sufwan ibn Sulaym has related that the Prophet was 
once asked if a Muslim could be a coward. "Yes", the Prophet 
replied. It was next asked of him if a Muslim could be a miser. 
"Yes", the Prophet again replied. After it, it was asked of him if 
a Muslim could be a [habitual] liar. The Prophet said, "No" 
[meaning that Faith and the filthy habit of deliberate lying could 
not exist with each-other]. (Maalik, Baihaqi) 

Commentary: Though cowardice and stinginess are bad, these are 
such natural weaknesses that a Believer, also, can fall a prey to 
them. But the habit of falsehood is so excessively repugnant to 
Islam that the two cannot be present in one person. 

-I* J J ^ J 4 > * , s X. « i 4. j - * tit, i .1, , i 

* j c^-r j*j i^r°- ?j &y j*> ^ ^ 

« ,< /»- 'a /» tit \*, * j ,j **, , t , , >\ 
J*y J»J J*4 jeT (H J*, aj Lrf J* J*J Ja? f*)^ 

Q^—j if jlAJl «l j j) ^b'l ^ ti 

(51/51) It is related by Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah *£k> that the 
Messenger of Allah said: "No adulterer commits adultery 
and remains a Believer during the time he commits adultery, and 
no thief commits theft remains a Believer during the time he 
commits theft, and no drinker drinks wine and remains a 
Believer during the time he drink wine, and no robber commits 
robbery, in full view of men, and remains a Believer during the 
time he commits robbery, and no embezzler commits 
embezzlement and remains a Believer during .the time he 

Book of Faith 


commits embezzlement. Thus, (O ye who believe!) Save 
yourselves from these [Faith-destroying] acts. Save 
[yourselves]." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

This Hadith is found again in Bukhari and Muslim on the 
authority of Sayyidina Ibn Abbas W*. Apart from adultery, theft, 
wine-drinking, robbery and embezzlement, it also mentions 
unjust killing. The additinal words are: 

(and no slayer slays anyone and remains a Believer while he 
slays). (Bukhari, Muslim) 

Commentary: Adultery, theft, wine drinking, murder and robbery 
and embezzelment are antithetical of Islam and during the time a 
person performs any of these evil acts, the light of Faith deserts 
him. It does not, however, mean that he altogether goes out of the 
fold and becomes an infidel. While commenting on this saying, 
Imam Bukhari himself has remarked: 
The perpetrator of these sins 

ceases to be a full Believer at b'Jk *i j tftf life *i 

the time at which he perperates „ > ,,»<-. 

them and the light of Faith does **** * 1 

not remain in him." 1 

To put it differently, in the peculiar inner feeling which is 
known as Faith is alive and the heart is illumined with it, a person 
will never be guilty of these wicked acts. Such sins are committed 
only when the flame of Faith has died out in the heart and the 
special spiritual consciousness which protects a man against 
evil-doing has disappeared or grown feeble due to some reason or 
the other. 

In a nutshell, the Traditions in which it has been said about 
some grave misdeeds that whoever commits them is not a believer 
or about some moral virtues or good actions that whoever gives 
them up or departs from them is devoid of Faith do not imply that 
he has actually seceded from the Islamic faith and now the laws of 
infidelity will apply to him, and, in he Hereafter, he will be treated 
as a heathen, but simply that he no longer possesses the true spirit 

O. Sahih Bukhari : Kitab-ul-lman 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

of Faith which is the glory of a Muslim and pleasing to Allah. The 
particular phrasing has been preferred only to lend a greater force 
to it. Every language has its idions and this style is often used in 
preaching, sermonising and encouraging. 

For instance, if instead of saying that the perpertrator of these 
crimes does not remain a Believer while doing them, the Prophet 
0 had said that his Faith leaves him at that time then the message 
would not be as effective. 

Or, we may recall the Hadith in the preceding pages: 

(He who is not trustworthy has # 

no faith and he who is not true jj£ *i j ^ ^ ^ <S*J *t 

to his promise has no share of ijjUpN -UJ 

religion). ' 

It would not be as effective if these words were not used. Thus, 
the style used in these Ahadith is most apt for the messages they 

It will, as such, be patently wrong and unjust to regard these 
Traditions as 'Fiats' or infidelity or 'Judicial Decrees' of Fiqh 
[Islamic Jurisprudence] and start expelling people from the Millat, 
as the Mu'tazilla and Khawarij did. 1 

Some Actions And Attributes of Hypocrisy 

(52/52) It is related by Abdullah ibn 'Amr that the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "Four things are such that if they 
combine together in a person he is an utter hypocrite and 
whosoever has any one of these then he has one attribute of 
hypocrisy in him and shall remain in that state till he gives it up. 
These are: when he is trusted, he betrays; when he speaks, he 

O. It is worthwhile to reproduce here the observation made by Ibn Taimiyah in 
Kitab-ul-Eeman. He says, "The position of the things about which it is said 
in the Traditions that whoever is guilty of them is not a Believer or that there 
is no Faith in him is, at the minimum, that these are prohibited by the 
Shari'ah and it is the duty of a Muslim to abstain from them." 

Book of Faith 


lies; when he gives a pledge, he breaks it: and, when he 
contends, he reviles." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: Hypocrisy, in the Islamic terminology, means that 
act or habit of pretending to be a Muslim and falsely displaying 
loyalty to the Islamic Faith as the case was with Abdullah bin Ubay 
and others of his ilk during the days of the Prohet This 
double-dealing, indeed, is the worst kind of infidelity and it is 
about these lying and insincere men that the Qur'an has said: 
Lo! the hypocrites [will be] in j $J 

the lowest depth of the Fire. - ' t 

(AlNisaa4:145) (U«:uUl) J^Jf 

But there are other traits, acts and practices also which possess 
a close affinity with hypocrisy and the Believer should not even 
allow their shadow to fall upon them. If, unfortunately, any of these 
habits is found in a Muslim, it will be assumed that he possesses 
that particular attribute of Hypocrisy and should all of these be 
present in him he will be considered to be a perfect hypocrite. 

In biref, one type of hypocrisy is related to belief and faith 
which is the worst kind of infidelity but, apart from it, to possess 
the character of a hypocrite is, also, a form of hypocrisy, though 
not pertaining to Faith. For a Muslim it is as necessary to guard 
against hypocritical qualities and behaviour as to shun infidelity, 
polytheism and conceptual hypocrisy. 

The Prophet S has described four of the characteristics of a 
hypocrite: embezzlent, falsehood, breaking promise, indecent 
language. If anyone has one of these, he has that much of hypocrisy 
in him but if he has all four then he is a complete hypocrite in his 

otf y <*Lj JUjki fry J* & i'jtj* 'J> 'J- ( or/or > 

(53/53) It is related by Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah 4^> that the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "Whoever dies in such a state that 
he neither waged Jihad nor made plans for it in his heart nor 
yearned for it then he died on an attirbute of hypocrisy."(Muslim) 

Commentary: A life in which, in spite of the claim of Faith, the 

1 50 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

time never comes for striving to the utmost and making sacrifices 
in the way of Allah nor is the urge felt for it in the heart is a life of 
the hypocrites and anyone who will depart from the world in that 
condition will depart with an attribute of hypocrisy. 

M^^^j^^l^^J^jJja^^ ( ot/ol) 
^ ^S^j A^l Si\ & JJ&\ iiy. Jj£ 

((^••jj) Vahfj igft^i jijf j 

( 54/54 )|J is elated by Sayyidina Anas that the Messenger of 
Allah m said: "It is the salah [prayer] of a hypocrite that a 
person sits on looking indifferently at the sun till it turns pale 
and begins to set, and, then, stands up for salah hurriedly 
finishes it, like a bird pecking at the grain, and the remembrance 
of Allah in it is, also, nominal." (Muslim) 
Commentary: What is worthy of a truthful Believer is that he 
waits eagerly for the time of salah to arrive and when it does he 
stands up for the prayer promptly and cheerfully, realising that he 
has been blessed with presence in the Court of the Almighty, the 
King of Kings, and offers it up in a calm, composed and collected 
manner and with a full sense of humility, and remembers Allah 
much in qiyam\ quyud 2 , ruku 3 and sujud* and enlivens his heart 
with it. But with the hypocrites it is different. Salah is a burden on 
them and they want to delay it as much as possible. Thus, for the 
Asr 5 prayer they rise up when the sun is about to sit below the 
horizon and finish it off quickly. This is the salah of the hypocrites 
and whoever offers it, in that way, does not offer the salah of a 
faithful Believer but of an hypocrite. 

'Al > Jtf Jtf 4lp^1 ^ (oo/oc) 

O. Standing erect. " " £ 

©. The sitting posture. 

©. Bowing the head in reverence. 

O. The act of prostration with the forehead touching the ground. 
©. The prayer offered before sunset. 

Book of Faith 131 

(55/55) It is related by Uthman ibn Affan 4& that the Messenger 
of Allah & said: "Whoever is present in the mosque when 
Azan 6 is given and goes out of it without a pressing need and 
[also] has no intention of coming back and joining the 
congregation is a hypocrite." (Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: The conduct described in the above Tradition is 

that of a hypocrite and whoever behaves like that is a hypocrite in 

practice, if not in belief. 

6. Call of prayer. 

Evtf Thoughts AreNotHarmfulTo Faith 
And Ther Will Be No Punishment On Them 

(56/56) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of 
Allah & said: "Allah has forgiven my Ummah evil thought and 
misgivings and there will be no punishment on them until they 
are acted upon or uttered by the tongue." (Bukhari and Muslim) 
Commentary: Sometimes most filthy ideas assail a man's heart 
and skeptical and atheistic questions arise in his mind. In this 
Tradition an assurance is given that as long as these desires, 
notions, doubts or fears remain confined to thought and feeling, 
there will be no punishment on them from Allah. But if they are 
given expression to, by word or deed, Divine chastisement will, 
ofcourse, follow. 

(57/57) It is narrated by Abdullah bin Abbas 4& that, once, a 
person came to the Prophet 0 and said, "Sometimes such 
wicked ideas come to my mind that I would prefer to be burnt 
down and reduced to charocal than to give utterance to them." 
The Prophet & replied, "Praise be to Allah who turned back 
the matter towards promptings." (Abu Dawood) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

Commentary: The questioner is advised here not to eat his heart 
out but be grateful to Allah that, out of His grace, He protected his 
inmost self against adopting and accepting the vicious notions and 
desires and did not allow them to go beyond the realm of thinking 
and feeling. 

Jtf Jis ^ ijfcf f#J A*J Jtf Jil T4j jjft fii fori 
(,►1— *1jJ) 

(58/58) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4& that, once, some 
Companions presented themselves before the Messenger of 
Allah m and said, "Our condition is that sometimes in our heart 
experience such evil thoughts and sentiments in our heart that it 
is most painful even to mention them." "Is it really so?" inquired 
the Prophet 0. "Yes", replied the Companions "This is our 
condition." "But that is pure Faith," the Prophet $1 exclaimed. 


Commentary: It shows that to feel greatly distressed at notions 
that are contrary to Islam and the Shari'ah that it may be intolerable 
even to bring them on the tongue is a mark of the purity of Faith. 

j&j dp %\ Jj> Jk\ J15 Jti 8>:> ^! 'J. (M/M) 

( 59/59 ) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4* that the Messenger of 
Allah m said: "Occasionally, Satan comes to you and asks, 
'Who created this thing [and] who created that thing,' He goes 
till he asks who created your Lord? So when this stage is 
reached you should seek refuge in Allah and stop." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 
Commentary: Such ideas and misgivings are the handiwork of 
Satan and when he causes a doubt concerning the very existance of 
Allah to crop up in anyone's heart the best course for him is to beg 
the protection of Allah against the mischeif of the Devil and divert 

Book of Faith 


his mind from it. When the existence of Allah is an Attribute of His 
Being and He is the Creator of all things a question like this does 
not arise about Him in the least degree. 

Jl>: U fa 4*%S JU> J^j JtS JtS lySjk ^ p ./V) 

^ ti\ ^ .jUii ^ li* j£ ^ 5}i j-ui 

(60/60) It is related by Abu Hurayrah ^ that the Messenger of 
Allah 0 said: "People will go on asking (vain and meaningless 
questions) until they ask: This is the creation Allah created, then 
who created Allah. So, he who faces that should say: I believe in 
Allah and His Messengers. (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: The attitude of a faithful Believer to such ideas and 
inquiries should be that he should tell the questioners, the 
doubt-instilling Satan or his own inmost self that the light of faith 
in Allah and His Messengers had reached him, and, therefore, the 
afore-mentioned question was not worthy of his consideration just 
as it was senseless for a clear-eyed person to think or discuss 
logically whether the sun was bright or not. 

The Essence of Faith 

(61/61) Sufyan ibn Abdullah Thaqafi reported that he asked 
the Prophet, "O Messenger of Allah Tell me an 
all-encompassing thing about Islam so that, after you, I may not 
have to ask from anyone in this regard." The Prophet Wi 
replied, "Say, I believe in Allah, and remain true to it." (Muslim) 

Commentary: It is enough for a man to believe in Allah as his 
Lord and Creator, and, then, as His conscientious slave fulfil his 

This Tradition is included among the "all-embracing sayings." 
The sacred Prophet Wi has summed up the fundamental meaning 
and purpose of Islam in a few words. Faith in Allah and constancy 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

and steadfastness in it constitutes the pith and essence of Islam. 
The significance of faith in Allah has already been explained in the 
commentary of the Tradition placed at the head of the present 
compilation while steadfastness means to pursue faithfully and 
unchangingly the Straight Path and to persevere in it at all times. 
Strict observance of the Divine injunctions, positive as well a 
negative, is, so to speak, the name of constancy in Faith. Some of 
the leading Sufi-saints have remarked, 

"Steadfastness is better than a i-i"^ -ft ' **' i' t - uit 

thousand supernatural deeds." ' v ' 

Once a person has learnt the lesson of steadfastness, he has 
learnt everything. After it, there is left nothing for him to aspire for. 
At various places in Qur'an, felicity has been associated with faith 
in Allah and steadfastness. Take the following verse, for instance. 
Lo! those who say: Our Lord is *i £ -yj, f. 

Allah, and afterward are \ / f , 

upright, the angels descend on ^fefc 3'yf- \y\kJ*\ 

them saying: Fear not nor ' ul^i vj! >> 
grieve, but hear good tidings of V«*«* 'dyj>H 
the Paradise which ye are H, iXyr 1^9 ^jJl^- itajjl 
promised. (Al Ahqaf 46:30) > 

(U-ir:n ciUs-'i »)0 'jits' 

Seeing that the Traditions of the Prophet H were based upon 
Qur'anic teachings it can be said that the reply to Sufyan ibn 
Abdullah Thaqafi was in the light of the verses like the one 
reproduced above 1 . 

(62/62) It is related by Tamin Dari that the Prophet 0 once, 
O. Some of the formost authorities have expressed the view that the sayings of 
the Prophet were, generally, derived from the Qur'an and the source of every 
Tradition can be found in it. Among the earlier doctors the names of Sa'eed ibn 
Jubair and Imam Shafi'ee can be mentioned in this connection while among the 
latterday theologists, Shah Waliullah has held the same opinion in Khair 
Katheer. He says "When I studied from that point of view I discovered that the 
origin of all the Traditions given in the Book of salah could be traced to the 
Qur'an." Would that he had been able to complete his research. 

Book of Faith 


said: "Faith is the name of loyalty and earnestness." He was 
asked, "Loyalty and earnestness towards whom?" The Prophet 
iSH replied, "Towards Allah, towards His Book, towards His 
Messenger, towards the leaders of Muslims, and towards the 
Muslims as a whole." (Muslim) 

Commentary: This Tradition, too, is included among the 
"all-embracing sayings". According to Imam Nawawi, it is 
comprehensive of all the objectives of Faith and to act upon it is to 
fulfil its aim and purpose altogether. 

No aspect or department of Faith has been left out in the above 
Tradition. It declares that Islam consists of loyalty to Allah, to His 
Book, to His Messengers, to the leaders of Muslims and to the 
entire Muslim Millat, and this is what Faith is, without a trace of 

Loyalty to Allah means that He should be believed in; the 
knowledge and awareness of Him should be acquired as much as 
possible: He should be loved to the utmost; worship and obediance 
should be rendered to Him : no one should be associated with Him; 
and, He should be feared as the true Lord and Sovereign. In brief 
the obligations of servility ought to be observed to the full in 
respect of Him and His commands carried out faithfully. 

Loyalty to the Book of Allah implies that it should be accepted 
as the Divine Word; due regard should be paid to its glory and 
greatness; its knowledge should be acquired and spread; and, its 
teachings should be observed dutifully in practice. 

Likewise, loyalty to the Prophet signifies that faith should be 
affirmed in his Mission; he should be held in respect and 
reverence; warm affection should be felt for him, and for his 
precepts and practices and, salvation should be believed to lie in 
following him with all one's heart. 

Further, loyalty to the rulers and leaders of the Muslims denotes 
that co-operation should be extended to them in the discharge of 
their responsibilities; they should be held in proper esteem, and if 
they seemed to err, sincere efforts should be made to correct them; 
good counsel should not be held back from them; and, they should 
be obeyed as far as it is permissible in Islam. 

And, laslty, to the Muslim Millat meaning that attitude towards 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

the Muslims, as a whole, should be one of sympathy and goodwill; 
their gain should be considered to be one's own gain and their loss 
to be one's own loss; and, every possible help and service should be 
accorded to them ungrudgingly. 

From the above it will be clear how this Tradition embraces of 
every branch of Faith and why to act upon it sincerely is to fulfil all 
the obligations of Islam. 


In the Hadith Jibreel and in some other Ahadith we have come 
across references to predestination. We have learnt in passing that 
it is necessary to believe in predestination. Here some Ahadith are 
presented that deal with this subject in detail and reflect on its 


(4*^3 % ^ j*j {^j* J*' J J*' 

4»t JL~> ^9 J^-l JJU Cju^I jJj < (*-$JUp1 ^ ' ja*" Coo 

(63/63) Ibn al-Dailami has related that he once went to Ubayy 
ibn Ka'ab <i$k> [one of the well-known Companions] and said, 
"[The doctrine] of Divine predestination has made me uneasy in 
mind. So, please tell [me] something about it [whereby] Allah 
may remove my anxiety [and my heart may gain satisfaction in 
this regard]" Ubayy ibn Ka'ab replied. "Listen! If Allah plunges 
all the creatures of the heavens and the earth into punishment, 
He will not be unjust in His act, and if He favours all of them 
with His mercy, the mercy will be better than their deeds [i.e., it 
will only be His benevolence upon them and not the due 
recompense of their actions]. And listen! To believe in destiny 
is so very essential that even if you give away gold equal to 
Mount Uhud in the way of Allah, it will not find acceptance 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

with Him until you believe in Divine predestination and it is 
your firm conviction that whatever happens to you could not 
have been averted and whatever does not happen to you could 
not just have happened [i.e., everything that takes place has 
been fore-ordained by Allah and no alteration is possible in the 
plan determined by Him before-hand]. If you die holding a 
belief other than this, you will certainly go to Hell." [Ibn 
al-Dailami related] "After hearing it from Ubayy ibn Ka'ab, I 
went to Abdullah ibn Mas'ood and he, told me the same thing; 
then 1 went to Huzayfah and he told me the same thing; then I 
went to Zaid bin Thabit and he related the same thing to me as a 
Tradition of the Prophet." . 

(Musnad Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Jbn Majah) 

Commentary: A common doubt which Satan implants in the 
hearts of the Believers is that when every event has been 
pre-determined by Allah how is it that while one person is living in 
ease and comfort in this world, the other is passing his days in 
want and misery, and why do some people go to Heaven and others 
to Hell? Should this misgiving assail anyone's mind, the best way 
to overcome it is to ponder over the supreme control Allah 
exercises over all creatures, as the Lord and Creator of the 
universe, and to think that an absolute Sovereign and Maker of the 
worlds like Him, who fashioned th entire design of existence out of 
nothing, is perfectly justified in treating any of His creatures in 
whatever way He likes. He cannot be called unjust by any code if 
He decides to punish everyone, and if He shows mercy to all, it will 
be nothing but His Benevolence because, after all, it is He who 
grants the good fortune of well-doing to the those who practise 

Since Ibn al-Dailami was a truthful Believer and had a 
complete faith in the Glory and Omnipotence of Allah, the holy 
Companions 4fe> rovided a remedy for his dilemma by that belief in 
predestintion was so vitally important that if , without it, a person 
spent even as much gold in charity as a mountain, it would not be 
acceptable to Allah and he was destined to end up in Hell. 

It should, however, be noted that only the doubts of the 
Believers can be dispelled in this way. For refuting objections 
raised by others regarding the concept of predetermination a 

Book of Faith 


different approach will have to be made. They are advised to read 
books on scholastic theology. We, also, propose to shed more light 
on it in the pages to follow. 

(4jtU Ji'j jJlj «tj j) 

(64/64) Abu Khizama has related from his father that he had 
narrated that he asked the Messenger of Allah "What do you 
say about the spell to which we take recourse in distress or the 
medicines we use to treat ourselves or the steps we take to 
ward-off an evil or misfortue? Do they change or annul what has 
been decreed by Allah?" The Prophet ^1 replied, "These things, 
also, are a part of Divine predestination." 

(Musnad Ahmad, Tirmizi and Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: It shows that the efforts we make and the methods 
we adopt to realise an aim are also subject to Divine predestination. 
For instance, it is fore-ordained by Allah that such-and-such a 
person will be afflicted with such-and-such an ailment and 
such-and-such a medicine, or any other means, will cure him of it. 
As a little deliberation will show, the sacred Prophet ill has, 
through one short sentence, answered many an objection raised and 
doubt expressed concerning the doctrine of fate. 

Ifl J^A & U fjL-j Jj>&\ Jj^3 J 1 * J 1 * ^ J* O o/ * 1 °) 

J*» i* & J* & & & UJ >^ J& I jUpJ JlS TJ^afl L*lsT 

(65/65) It is related by Sayyidina Ali 4^ that the Messenger of 
Allah iH said: "For everyone of you the adobe of Heaven or 
Hell has been written already [i.e., it has been determined 
beforehand who will go to Heaven and who will go to Hell]." 

1 60 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

The Companions asked, "Should we, then, rely upon the 
decree of fate and cease to make effort [meaning when 
everything has been settled beforehand why should we exert 
ourselves]?" "No", the Prophet S replied, "Go on striving 
because everyone is guided only to what he has been born for. 
Thus, he who is among the fortunate is guided towards virtuous 
deeds and he who is among the ill-fated is guided towards sinful 
deeds." The Prophet S recited the following verse of the 

"As for him who giveth [his wealth] and is dutiful [towards 
Allah], and believeth in goodness; surely We will ease his way 
unto the state of ease. But as for him who hoardeth and deemeth 
himself independent, and disbelieveth in goodness; surely We 
will ease his way unto adversity." [AI Lay] 92:5- 1 0] 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 
Commentary: It has not only been determined beforehand for 
everyone whether he is going to end up in Heaven or Hell but the 
route of good or evil deeds by which he will each here has also 
been decreed by Allah. It has been predestinated that he who will 
go to Heaven because he performed such-and-such good deeds and 
he who will go to Hell will do so because ofpeforming 
such-and-such wicked deeds. Thus, good deeds have been 
fore-ordained for the dwellers of Heaven and evil deeds for the 
dwellers of Hell, and these can, therefore, neither be avoided nor 

(66/66) It is related by Abdullah Ibn Umar 4&> that 'the' 
Messenger of Allah 0 said:" Everything is from fate, even 
intellect and stupidity." (Muslim) 

Commentary: Capability and fitness, skilfulnessiand efficiency 
and wisdom and intelligence are all determined by fate. In short, 
whatever a man is in this world, and in whichever state, has been 

Book of Faith 


Divinely preordained. 

fLj J^k J'jLj <4* JIS 5>:> ^ 'J. (1V/1V) 

oir ^ uSt ^'t oLji i% ^ ^ i% jia jiijji 4^- 
i>3u*ai ^ dJ> ^ cJ> <>tfi & ^ sysp ^ 

(67/67) It is related by Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah "Once we 
were discussing the doctorine of predestination [in the Prophet's 
Mosque] when the Messenger of Allah 0 came [and finding us 
engaged in the discussion], [He] became very angry till his face 
turned so red that it appeared that a pomegranate had been 
squeezed on his cheeks. He said, 'Is it what you have been 
commanded to do? Have I brought you this message [that you 
should discuss such vital and delicate issues as Divine 
predestination]? Beware! Communities before you were 
destroyed when they got into the habit of wranging over it. I 
make it binding upon you, with the invocation of the power of 
Allah, not to discuss this question'." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: Without doubt, the problem of predestination is a 
most delicate one. The Believer should, therefore, refrain from 
making it a subject of debate and argument if he fails to understand 
it. He must allay his doubts by telling himself that Allah and the 
Prophet have expounded it in that very manner and, hence, he puts 
his trust in it. The question is related to the Attributes of Allah, and 
it must, naturally, be intricate while, with us, the case is that we are 
unable to comprehend even so many problems and mysteries 
concerning the material world. Thus, when Allah and His 
Messenger have explained a truth [which is not easy for everyone 
to understand properly], the wisest course for those who tail to 
grasp its full significance but have affirmed faith in Islam is not to 
dispute it but to accept its reality, realising the limitations of their 

The sacred Prophet H was indignant, '^ertifcps, flbcause the 
Companions c$$> were under his guidance and .they wefe-tearning 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

Faith directly from him; so when he saw them indulging in the 
folly he, naturally, felt very angry. 

As for the observation that communities have been destroyed in 
the past due to the habit of entering into an argument over the 
question of predetermination, destruction, in the present context, 
denotes deviation and depravity. Both in the Qur'an and the 
Traditions the word 'destruction" has frequently been used in that 
sense. The inference that can, thus, be drawn from the Prophet's m 
remark is that doctrinal errors and misunderstandings crept into the 
earlier communities when they made the doctrine of Divine 
pre-ordination a matter of debate and argument, and, as history 
tells, among the Muslims, too, conceptual deviations began with 
the grown of this habit.^ 

It must, however, be clear that debate and disputation has been 
prohibited in the above saying and not the seeking of guidance for 
one's own satisfaction from someone who may be worthy of it. 

Jf\ -j-jJh y>% oijUji j& at jj j2$u/Ai 

C( »J — i el j j) • frUJl Js> li> jtfj ji 

(68/68) It is related by Abdullah ibn 'Amr 4&> that the 
Messenger of Allah H said: "fifty thousand years before the 
creation of the heavens and the earth Allah had written the 
destinies of all creatures. And at that time, His Throne was on 
water." (Muslim) 

Commentary: A few points in this Tradition are, particularly, 
deserving of notice. 

Firstly, what does the writing of destinies by Allah mean? It 
does not, evidently, denote that Allah had written down in the same 
way as we do by holding the pen in the hand and putting down 
something on paper or a tablet. To think like that would be to 
betray one's colossal ignorance of Allah's resplendent Glory and 
Magnificence. It is beyond our understanding to grasp the nature 
and reality of Divine Functions and Attributes, and since there is 
no separate vocabulary for it, we are compelled to use the same 
terms while speaking about them as have been devised to describe 

Book of Faith 


our own activities and characteristics. Otherwise, there is as much 
difference between the nature and reality of Allah's Functions and 
Attributes and our own traits, actions and doings as between Mis 
Exalted Being and our humble selves. 

Be that as it may, it is known only to the Almighty what the 
writing of destinies mentioned in the above saying actually means. 
Besides, in the Arabic language the act of determining or settling a 
thing is also spoken of as writing. Thus, in the Qur'an the enjoining 
of fasting as a religious duty has been set forth as: 

Fasting is written to you, Vy, >£fc ^ 

(Ai Baqarah,2:183) r " ' ~" ' ' 

And the prescribing of revenge as: 

Revenge is written to you. ' i >at i J^jj, 

(AIBaqarah2:178) ^ ' ~" " 

In the present Tradition, therefore, if the word 'written' is intended 
to convey the same meaning it will denote that Allah had 
determined the fate of all the creatures fifty thousand years before 
the creation of the heavens and the earth and ordained- each and 
every even that was to take place. We are, further, strengthened in 
our view by the fact that in some accounts of the above saying the 
word Qaddar [determined] has been used in the place of Kataba 
[wrote] f 

It is worth remembering that expressions like 'pen' and 'tablet' 
that occur in some unauthentic reports concerning the writing of 
destiny have been borrowed from the Hebrew scriptures and have 
nothing to do with the genuine Traditions of the Prophet iH. 2 

Moreover, the fifty thousand years mentioned in the Tradition 
can also signify a very long period of time. Such expressions are 
quite common in the Arabic language. It will, then, mean that Allah 
had determined the deslineis of all created beings long, long before 
the creation of the heavens and the earth. 

At the end of the Tradition it is stated that at that time the 
Throne of Allah was on water. It shows that Allah's Throne and 

water had been created by then. 

O. Shah Waliullah has taken the same view in Hu/jatullah-u-Btiligha (Vol. I, p. 

©. Hujjat 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

Writes Shah Waliullah: "Just as thousands of faces and details 
regarding them are stored up in our mind in the same way in some 
special faculty of the heaven of heavens (which may be compared 
to our own imagination) Allah has inscribed beforehand the doings 
and activities, deeds and behaviour and conditions and 
circumstances of all the creatures; in short, anything and everything 
that was going to happen in the world. Whatever is taking place in 
the world is, thus, preserved in this faculty of the heaven of 
heavens as innumerable faces and information relating to them are 
in our memory." 

In his view, the writing of the destinies of all the creatures 
signifies nothing but this. 

£r,i <?i iftj & u jtJi jii ji^ juUJ 

(69/69) It is related by Abdullah ibn Mas'ood that the 
Messenger of Allah kH said to him: "The seed of everyone of 
you remains for forty days in the womb of his mother in the 
form of Nutfah 1 [i.e., during the first forty days it undergoes no 
significant change except that a little thickening of the blood 
takes place and this is what is called Nutfah], for another forty 
days it remains like a clot, and, then, for the same number of 
days, like a lump of flesh [when the formation of limbs and the 
growth of bone begins]. Then Allah sends down an angel with 
four things. The Angel writes down his action [on earth], his 
life-span, the time of his death, his provision and that whether 
he is Sa'eed 2 [fortunate] or Shaqi 3 [unfortunate]. T he soul is 
O. Sperma Hominis — 
©. Commonly means of good disposition' ©. Antonym of Sa'eed 

Book of Faith 


then, put into him. Thus, by the Being save Whom no one is 
worthy of worship and obedience, at certain times it happencs 
that someone of you performs the deeds of the dwellers of 
Heaven till there remains only the length of an arm between him 
and Paradise, and, then, what is decreed by Fate comes to the 
fore and he begins to perform the deeds of the dwellers of Hell, 
and, ultimately, makes his way to it [Hell]. And, at other times, 
someone of you performs the deeds of the dwellers of Hell till 
there remains only the length of an arm between him and Hell 
and, then, the decree of Fate comes to the fore and he begins to 
perform the deeds of the dwellers of Paradise, and, ultimately, 
makes his way to it [Paradise]." (Rukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: In this Tradition two things have been mentioned. 
At first, the few stages of the process of the creation of man are 
explained through which the embryo passes before the soul is 
breathed into it (and these stages have, perhaps been stated by way 
of an introduction). After that, the Prophet £H tells us bout the 
Divine decree that is set down for every human being who is born, 
by the Angel appointed by Allah. It contains details regarding his 
deeds, duration of life, hour of death, sustenance and good or evil 

From the general setting of the Tradition it appears that the 
main purpose of the Prohet is to emphasise about this decree 
that it is final and immutable to the extent that a person who is 
written down as a dweller of Hell leads a life of piety and moral 
rectitude for a long time till he comes very close to Paradise, and, 
then, all of a sudden, he begins to perform evil deeds and dies in 
the state and ends up in Hell. In the same way, it also happens that 
a person who is marked out for Paradise spends his life for a long 
time in the manner of the people of Hell and comes so close to it 
that, speaking figuratively, only the length of an arm separates him 
from the infernal place, and, then, suddenly he steadies himself and 
begins to do virtuous deeds like the dwellers of Heaven and dies in 
that state and makes his abode in Paradise. 

The lesson this Tradition imparts to us is that no one should be 
condemned positively as a dweller of Hell on account of his evil 
actions. One never can say what the pattern of his life will be in 
time to come. Likewise, if, by the grace of Allah, a person is 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

leading a life of virtue he should not he self-satisfied but always 
remain solicitious of a happy end. 

ji ^u*} din juZ> &\ J 15 jj*^Jt^ (v </v . ) 

(70/70) It is related by Abdullah ibn 'Amr 4§e> that the 
Messenger of Allah &§l said: "The hearts of all men are between 
the two fingers of Ar-Rahman (The Compassionate), like a 
single heart; He turns it in whatever driection He pleases." [The 
Prophet s|i then saidj: 

"O Alia! Turner of hearts! Turn - o'JUJl & ' ' lijji 

my heart towards Thine - ; * 

obedience." <*£&$e ^s- Uj^ 


Commentary: As we have pointed out earlier, since there is no 
special terminology for describing the Functions and Attributes of 
Allah, the same words and idions are used for it as have been 
evolved for describing human doings and characteristics. Thus, if it 
has been said in the above Tradition that the hearts of all men are 
between the two fingers of Allah, it only means that our hearts are 
entirely in His control, and He turns them in any direction he likes. 
It is similar to our own idiom of holding a person in the palm of 
one's hand which is used to denote one's complete authority over 

From the foregoing Traditions concerning Divine 
predestination we conclude: 

(i) Allah determined the fate of all created beings fifty thousand 
years before the creation of the heavens and earth and 
fore-ordained, in detail, everything that was going to happen. 

(ii) When a person is in his mother's womb and four months have 
passed in that condition an Angel appointed by Allah sets 
down four things about him: life-span, deeds, provision and 
good fortune or evil. 

Book o f Faith 


(iii) God turns our hearts in whatever direction He likes. 

In fact, these are the different stages and manifestations of 
Divine preordination and the real, eternal fate takes precedence 
over all of them. Shah Waliullah has discussed the whole things in 
a most lucid manner. Below wc give the main point of his thesis: 

Different stages of Divine Decree 

(i) Before the beginning of time when nothing existed save Allah, 
and the heavens, earth, air, water and the Throne of the 
Almighty had not been created, Allah possessed a complete 
knowledge of the universe that was to come into being later. 
Thus, in that very period of eternity He had resloved to create 
the world according to the pattern that was in His timeless 
decision was the first stage of Divine predestination. 

(ii) Then there came a time when water and the Throne of Allah 
had been created but not the heavens and earth [according to 
the Tradition No. 68, fifty thousand years before the creation 
of the heavens and earth] 1 and Allah determined the destinies 
of all the creatures in accordance with the Eternal Destiny 
[i.e., He inscribed the detailed account of the fate of all the 
crated beings on the imagination of the heaven of heavens 
which, thus, it became its bearer]. This was the second stage 
of Divine predestination. 

(iii) Next, when the process of the development of a man begins 
in his mother's womb and the time comes, after the passage of 
four months, of infusing the spirit into the fouetus, the Angel 
appointed by Allah prepares the scroll of his destiny, on the 
basis of the knowledge obtained from Him, which contains 
the details concerning his life-span, actions and doings, 
provision and felicity or ill-fortune. This is the third stage of 
Divine predestination. 

(iv) Aftewards, whatever a person wants to do, he does so by the 
command of Allah, as it is stated in Tradition No 70 that the 
hearts of all men are in the control of Allah and He turns them 
in any direction he likes. 

This is the fourth stage of Divine prederermination. 
It should not be difficult to realise the significance of the 
O. Which, in our veiw, denotes thoudsands of years. Translator. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

various Traditions on Divine predetermination if the above is kept 
in the mind. 

Misgivings- The doubts generally expressed about the doctrine 
of predestinatin can be summed up as follows:- 

(i) If everything, good or evil, that happenes in the world has been 
determined beforehand by Allah, the responsibility for all the 
wicked along with the virtuous deeds will also rest with Him. 

(ii) When every event has been decreed in advance by Allah and 
What He has fore-ordained is unalterable, a man is bound to 
act according to what has been appointed beforehand and he 
should, therefore, neither be rewarded nor punished for his 

(iii) If all events have been predetermined by Allah and are 
inevitable, it is futile to exert oneself for anything, whether of 
this world or the next. 

On reflection, however, it will appear that all the objections and 
arguments are due, basically, to a faulty understanding of the 
concept of predestination. 

As we have seen already, Divine predetermination is in 
accordance with the eternal knowledge of Allah and whatever is 
taking place in the world, no matter how, why and when, was in 
His timeless knowledge exactly in the same manner and it had been 
appointed by Him to happen at that very time and in that very way. 

Should we ponder over our action we will find that whatever 
we do in this world, wicked or virtuous, is by our own volition. If 
before taking a step or performing a deed we care to think a little, it 
will seem that it lies in our power to do so or not. In spite of this 
freedom and authority, we decide to do it or not by means of the 
will to given to us by Allah and our action is in keeping with tthat 
decision. Thus, before the beginning of time Allah was fully aware 
of how we were going to do what we do in the present world by 
our own power of consicious decision and intention, and, He 
fore-ordained them in the same manner. Allah has predestined not 
only our actions but also the will and volition through which they 
are carried out. Divine predestination, therefore, does not merely 
means that such-and-such a person will do this or that good or evil 
act but also that he will do so out of his own choice and discretion, 

Book of Faith 


and, then, such-and-such results will follow and he will receive 
such a reward or punishment. 

The limited control we have over our actions and through 
which we decide about doing a thing or not is also determined by 
fate. The responsibility for our deeds rests with it and it is because 
of it that we are accountable for our doings. The Divine scheme of 
Requital and Recompense is based upon nothing aside of it. 

Predestination does not deny or nullify the power or freedom to 
decide and choose. It proves and strengthens it and makes it more 
valid. We, as such, are helpless beings as a result of it nor does the 
responsibility of our actions lie with Allah. 

In the same way, the aims and objects for the attainment of 
which we make efforts in this world have also been related to the 
same efforts by fate. 

In brief, only this much is not predetermined that such a thng 
will be obtained by such-and-such a person but' the means and 
manner by which it is going to be obtained is also predetermined. 

The whole chain of cause and effect is exactly the same in 
Divine predestination as it is in the present world. 

To imagine, therefore, that whatever is fated will happened in 
any case and it is futile to try and exert oneself is contrary to the 
real significance of the doctrine of predestination. This is the 
substance of what the Prophet iH has said in Traditions Nos. 64 & 
65 in reply to the questions put to him by the Comanions 

If these facts are borne in mind then Insha Allah such doubts 
will not arise. 

(And Allah guides whom He will to Straight Path) 


Some Basic Principles 

Before taking up Traditions concerning life after death it vvill 
be advisable to keep a few fundamental points in view. It will be 
easier then to understand the import of the Traditions and the 
doubts that are so common in this regard, in the modern 
materialistic time, will not arise. 

(i) The special function of the Prophets f*>LJi [for which 
thev are sent] is to tell us about the truths we cannot know on our 
own, through it is essential to have knowledge of them. They are 
beyond the reach of our intellects. 

(ii) A unique source of authentic knowledge for the Prophets 
f^LJi pjjp, which is not availabe to the common people, is Divine 
revelation. It is by this means that they holy Prophets f'Z-Ji 
obtain knowledge of things we cannot become aware of through 
our own eyes, cars or understanding in the same way as anyone 
possessing a telescope can see remote objects that are not visible to 

(iii) To believe in anyone as Prophet and to accept him as such 
means the unequivocal acknowledgement of the truth that whatever 
he says about things we do not know or cannot see ourselves is 
from the knowledge vouchesafed to him by Allah and that every 
word of it is true. There is no question of doubting the genuineness 
and accuracy of what the Prophet teaches or reveals. 

(iv) The Prophets never tell anything that is opposed to reason. 
It is a different matter that our intellectual facilities may not be 
capable of understanding independently the principles and 
doctrines expounded by them. It could, of course, not be otherwise 
because if the Prophets were merely to teach the truths we could 
ourselves perceive throught study and observation their coming 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part J 

would have no meaning. 

(v) There is nothing in what the Prophets have said about life 
after death, i.e., Barzkah [the intervening period betwen death and 
resurrection] and Furturity that may not be logically feasible. It 
docs, however, contain certain truths which we can not know 
ourselves and since a similitude of these things does not exist in 
the material world we, naturally, fail to comprehended them the 
way we do the visible objects that surround us here. 

(vi) The range and strength of the natural means of knowledge 
and perception that have been granted to us, like the eyes, ears, 
nose and intellect in very limited. Our everyday experience is that 
with the aid of modern scientific instruments we can come to know 
of things that could not be imagined in the past. For example, the 
microbes present in water or blood can, today, be seen through the 
miscroscope. We can hear the voice coming from thousands of 
miles over the wireless, and with the help of knowledge derived 
from book the human mind can reflect to a much greater extent 
than what it could on the basis of information acquired through the 
physical faculties like hearing and seeing. It shows that to reject a 
truth simply on the ground that we do not see, hear or understand it 
today is patently wrong and erroneous. As the Qur'an tells: 

And of knowledge ye have ^ jj -l&'it'* 

been vouchsafed but little. ^ -r* ^i^' W J 

(Allsra'i 17:85) ( A ° :W M') 

(vii) Man is made up of two things: the body which is visible 
and the soul which, though it cannot be seen, is accepted by 
eveyone as a reality. Moreover, the relation between them in this 
world is such that whatever condition of pain or pleasure, suffering 
or happiness, comes to pass here happens primarily to the body and 
the soul is affected by it only secondarily. Thus, when a person is 
hurt or gets burnt by fire, the injury or burn is related directly to the 
body but his soul also feels the agony of it. Similarly, the pleasures 
of eating and drinking appertain to the body but the soul, too, 
participates in them. 

In the material world, therefore, body is the main thing and the 
soul, so to speak, is subservient to it. But if we bestow some 
though on what the Qur'an and the Traditions tell about the 

Book of Faith 


Hereafter, we will realise that it will be the other way round in the 
life to come. In the future existence, all the good and bad things 
will happen diectly to the soul and the body will be affected by 
therri simply in the second place. Allah has created a likeness of it 
in the present world as well [probably in order to make it easier for 
us to appreciate this essential fact]. It is the dream. Everyone who 
is mentally normal often sees in his life dreams which give him 
intense pain or pleasure. But the pain or pleasure in the dream is, in 
fact, related to the soul and the body is affected only indirectly by 
it. For instance, when a person dreams that he is eating a delicious 
food, he does not see that he is doing so with his soul or 
imagination but with the mouth with which he usually eats in the 
waking sjate. Likewise, when he dreams that someone is beating 
him, he does not see that it is his soul which is being beaten but the 
body and his body feels the hurt is the same way as it does in the 
waking hours though whatever happens in the dream is to the soul 
and the body is affected only secondarily. Occasionally, the body 
feels the effects of the strokes or blows so strongly that marks of 
injury are actually found on it wnen one wakes up. 

Anyhow, the nature of whatever one sees in a good or bad 
dream is that it happens directly to the soul and its effect is felt by 
the body only in the second place. That is why, even a person lying 
next to him who dreams does not see any sign of what he is 
passing through physically, the reason being that we, in this world, 
can observe only such states as are related directly to our physical 
self. In the same manner, the nature of what is going to happen to 
virtuous or wicked people during the state of Barzakh [a few 
details of which are given in the sayings of the Prophet iil we will 
now discuss] is that it will directly befall the soul and the body will 
feel its effect in the indirect way. 

It is hoped that after knowing the difference between the 
present world and Barzkah the trivial doubts and questions will not 
arise which are typical to the skeptical or unintelligent people 
about the Traditions pertaining to the interrogation of the dead and 
the reward and punishment of the grave. 

1 74 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part 1 

(A) Barzakh 

Jls lUj <Op M Al J^^^jlf- jlfrQi rf(y\N\) 

^ ciil > OlT oijl Jjii ftJ^ ^jtt >i J^j 

jis "4^1 c^udi jjiig rjla £il ft " jjjS <cil>3 

o^'jZj (^jil V aU aU o^j^i 'H 1 --^^ 

d^j tk^i J*-^Ji iJL»U j^3^ f ^j^ *l flL * dL * Ji^ ?*-£-uaU kl 
o'jl )ti $ *u *Jl ^ Alii ^£1 < ^>W'aU eli J^iLi ?^ 
U> ^ 4^13 JlS jUl J\ ft AJ ty^lj /)t ^ S^'ij jLJi ^ 
jjT** 1 <U ^fcjjj ^ AP^I 4J t^LyxJ a^J JjL^j JlS l^j j 

^.j^ ^ *j W'Jj J^r o^H 5 j* Qjj* 

(71/71) It is related by Bara ibn 'Azib ^ that the Messener of 
Allah |H said [while speaking about the interrogation of the 
dead and the reward and punishment of the grave]: "When a 
faithful bondsman of Allah departs from this world and arrives 
in the world of Barzakh [i.e., is buried in the grave], angles 
come to him [and] they make him sit up and ask, 'Who is your 
Lord?' The bondsman replies, 'Allah is my Lord.' The angels, 
thereafter, ask, 'What is your Faith?' He replies, 'Islam is my 
faith.' The angels, then, enquire from him, 'What do you think of 
the man who was raised up among you las the Prophet]?' 'He is 
the true Messenger of Allah,' the bondsman replies. The angels 
then ask, 'Who told it to you [i.e., how did you come to know 
about the mission of the Prophet?' He replies. 'I read the Book of 

Book of Faiifi ' 

Allah [and from it I learnt that Muhammad H is the Messenger 
of Allah].' The Prophet then remarked that 'this is the reply 
of the faithful Believers about which it has been said in the 

Allah confirmeth those who believe by a firm saying 
[i.e., by a correct faith and a correct reply] in the life of 
the world and in the Hereafter.' (Ibraim !4:27) 

"Afterwards, the Prophet % observed, '[When the truthful 
Believer gives the correct replies to the aforementioned 
questions of the angels], a herald proclaims from the heavens 
[i.e., it is announced from the heavens on behalf of Allah]: 'My 
bondsman has speaken the right thing and gave the correct 
answers. So, lay out the carpet of Paradise for him and dress 
h : m up in the robe of Paradise.' Thereupon, the door is opened 
virough which comes the cool and fragrant breeze of Paradise 
and Paradise is stretched for him as far as the eye can see [i.e., 
the curtains are lifted so that he can revel, in full measure, in the 
wonderful sights of Heaven].' 

"After it, the Prophet H said about the death of the Unbeliever 
[infidel]. He said, [After his death], the soul is returned to his 
body and two angels also come to him who make him sit up and 
ask, 'Who is your Lord?' He replies, 'Alas! I know nothing.' The 
angels, then, enquire from him, 'What was your Faith?' He, 
again, replies, 'Alas! I know nothing.' The angels, further, ask, 
'What do you think of the man who was raised up among you 
[as the Prophet]?' He, again, says. 'Alas! 1 know nothing.' After 
these questions and answers a herald proclaims from the 
heavens [on behalf of Allah], 'He is a liar. [The innocence he 
professes is false for he was really a denier of the Oneness of 
Allah, of His faith-Islam-and of His truthful Prophet]. So lay out 
for him the carpet of Hell and dress him up in the robe of Hell 
and open a door for him in the direction of Hell.' [All this will, 
then, be done]. [The Prophet S went on to say]: 'The heat of 
Hell and its leaping flames and scorching wind will reach him 
incessantly [through the door], and his grave will be made 
extremely narrow and it will press him so hard that his ribs will 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

move from one side to the other. After that, an angel will be 
appointed for his punishment who will neither see nor hear 
anything, he will be carrying a hammer of iron, a stroke of 
which can reduce a mountain to a heap of ashes. With the 
hammer the angel will strike him once and He will scream so 
loudly that all the things that exist between the East and the 
West except men and jinn will hear it. At this stroke he will turn 
into dust, and, then, the soul will be put into him again." 

(Musnad Ahmad and Abu Dawood) 

& Xfo j^J iff ^uj ijb» ^ j> : cJru jvjfcj 
^ 33 Jut juii ^ Jfaili Jji a' jiiJ in j& 

cfi* li ju3 J-tlii j>: u jjfi dJr ^ii v j^o jfjii ^ 

^ O* '^!j^> Juw^ J jlkl> V^iJ V j 

(72/72) It is related by Anas 4fe that the Messenger of Allah 0 
said: "When [after death] the bondsman is buried in the grave 
and his friends [i.e., those who came with his funeral] depart 
[but they are still so near that he can hear their footsteps], two 
angels come to him and make him sit up and, then, ask, 'What 
did you say about the man [i.e., about the holy Prophet]? 1 Thus, 
if the bondsman is a Believer he replies, '[I have always testified 
and even now] I testify that he is the slave and the truthful 
Messenger of Allah, [On hearing it, the angels say], 'See also the 
place that was going to be your abode in Hell [if you had not 
affirmed belief]. Now, instead of it, Allah has granted to you a 
place in paradise [which is this]. See it also [i.e., both the places 
of Heaven and Hell will be brought before him].' He will, thus, 
see them at the same time. Similarly, he who is a hypocrite or an 
infidel is, also, asked [after his death] about the Prophet H as 
to what he thought of him. The hypocrite or the infidel replies, 'I 

Book of Faith 


myself do not know anything about him. 1 only used to repeat 
what the others said.' So, he will be told, 'You neither knew 
yourself nor followed the example [of those who believed after 
knowing]', and will be beaten with the clubs of iron due to 
which he will scream so loudly that everything nearby will hear 
it except men and jinn." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: From the preceding Tradition it appears that the 
angels will ask three questions from the dead person while in the 
present saying only one question is mentioned. The reason is that 
this one question cover the other two and the reply to it denotes the 
replies to them as well. Thus, is some accounts only one question is 

We have emphasised it as an elemantary principle already and 
wish to bring it to the notice of the readers again that the 
Traditions of the Prophet 0 are not in the nature of wirt'en 
discourses but informal talks, and in the conversation of a teacher 
or benefactor it is quite natural that, sometimes, a thing is 
described in full detail, and sometimes, only a few aspects of it arc 

In the above report, as also in a few others, the word 'grave' has 
been used but it does not apply only to those who are buried after 
death. It is merely for the reason that the general practice was to 
bury the dead and this method of the disposal of dead bodies was 
common. Otherwise, the interrogatin by the angels takes place with 
everyone who dies, no matter whether he is buried in the grave or 
cremated or his dead body is immersed in the river or eaten up by 
carnivarous birds and animals. As we have seen earlier, all this [the 
interrogation etc.] happens to the soul, and the body, wherever it 
may be, is affacted only indirectly by it. The example of the dream 
is quite sufficient to bring home the truth, for also a dead body 
sometimes remains lying before us for three or four days and yet no 
sound of the questions and answers is heard by anyone. In the 
dream, too, all sorts of things happen to a man, he talks, eats and 
drinks but no evidence of it is noticed by those around him. 
It can, also, be argued that when there is no opening or any other 
way of entering into a grave, how do the angels reach there? But 
only the unknowing who imagine the angels to be made of flesh 

1 78 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

and bones like themselves can raise such a question. The angels do 
not need an entrance or a doorway for coming into or going out of 
a place. Just as the rays of sun pass through a sheet of glass, the 
angels, by reason of the powers ranted to them by Allah, go past 
the walls of bricks and stones. 

l\ fa JU> Jii Jis jj> 4^ ^ (vr/vr) 

il^Jl Jit y> ^ StJuIb sJUL aIAp jjs j£ Oli til ^I^-l 

^fJUi. il» jiii jUi jii jtJi jit ^ 5tr jij aLjJi jii 

(jJL-j. j t5 jb*Jt 91 jj) .^lolt AlJr^bt L ^ fcJ ^y^- 

(73/73) It is related by Abdullah ibn Umar 4& that the 
Messenger of Allah said: "When anyone of you dies, the 
place that is going to be his [final] dwelling-place is brought 
before his eyes every morning and evening. If he is among the 
dwellers of Paradise, the place in Paradise [that is going to be 
his is shown to him every morning and evening], and if he is 
among the dwellers of Hell, and the place in hell [that is going 
to be his is shown to him every morning and evening], and it is 
said to him: 'This is going to be your permanent abode [and it 
will be so] when Allah will raise you up on the Day of 
Resurrction." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: It is not possible, in the present world, to form an 
idea of the raxe joy the dwellers of Heaven will experience on 
seeing their eternal dwelling place and the excessive pain and grief 
the dwellers of Hell will feel on seeing their permanent abode. 

j£ji?-J£> jZ'J&J&j lit 'tfg aS\ ^3 O 1 *^ ^(Vt/Vi) 

> j^>3 iii j& \£* ^ 'jg 3U13 £Ly t 'Jr'jj & j45i 

{ J^> <dlt Jj~->j Jtfl3 J 13 <iLL ? JLil aJL «H U3 ^1 j Ala j~»jI OJLju 

(Asrl. jjlj^jj>>Jt4ljj).*i a ^ail jlaJtj Ja3 I Jcuji CjIj ti |i-L^J 4*^ d *' 

(74/74) It is narrated by Sayyidina Uthman 4^0 that he used to 
weep much when he stood by a grave, to the extent that his 
beard became wet with tears. On being asked [how it was] that 

Be ok of Faith 


he did not weep wb ;n he remembered Heaven and Hell but 
cried so bitterly because of the grave, he explained that the 
Messenger of Allah iH used to say: "The grave is the first stage 
among the stages of the Hereafter. Thus, if a person obtains 
deliverance from it, the other stages are easier, and if a person 
fails to obtain deliverance from the stage of the grave, the other 
stages are more difficult." The Messenger of Allah Hi also used 
to say: "No sight which I have seen is more dreadful than the 
sight of the grave." (Tirmizi and Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: Whenever Sayyidina Uthman 4§s> passed by a grave 
words of the Prophet £H [reproduced above] came to his mind and 
he began to weep out of fear and anxiety. 

c.^viib tfijL- p (»^-Sm Yj&*^*\ jua u&j c-l^ 1 & cyt t.J 

(75/75) Sayyidina Uthman reported that it was the practice 
of the Prophet that after he had finished with the burial of a 
dead body, he would stand by the side of the grave and say, 
"Pray to Allah for forgiveeness for this brother of yours and 
also that He may see him steadfast in the replies to the questions 
for now the interrogation will take place." (Abu Dawood) 

tJjurf ^Jl ji-j A^P 411 jU ill Sj^j U£> Jl! y^r 'J- (Vl/Vl) 

(76/76) It is reported by Sayyidina Jabir 4^ that when Sayyidina 
Sa'd ibn Mu'az 4^ died they participated in his funeral with the 
Messenger of Allah HI. When the Prophet iH led his funeral 
salah and the grave was levelled after burying him, he said: 
jsw ..Jji j*--> (Allah is without blemish," twice). Then he 
kept saying jS\*ti\ (Allah is Greatest). So, they too imitated him 
and said Allahu Akbar repeatedly. Then, someone asked him, 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

"0 Messenger of Allah! Why did you glroify Allah and then 
extol Him?" So, he said, ":The grave was pressed on this pious 
slave of Allah (and he felt pain) till Allah corrected that 
condition (and made the grave spacious removing his pain). 


Commentary: Sayyidina Sa'd ibn Mu'az 4$b was a well known 
Ansar Companion who had taken part in the Battle of Badr. He 
died in 5 A. H. The Prophet 0 is quoted in another Hadith to have 
said about him, "Seventy thousand angels, participated in his 
funeral and the doors of the Paradise are opened for him." In spite 
of that he had to face hardship in the grave (though it was removed 
forthwith). There is caution and a lesson for us in this: 

(O Allah! Have mercy on us. O Allah! Protect us). 
jU^j i£s>%\ jU ill J}-1>3 f 13 dJl5 JZj {J\ C~y iUJjl ^ (VV/YV) 

77 (77) It is related by Sayyidah Asma binti Abu Bakr 
u^p that the Messenger of Allah Wi once delivered a sermon in 
which he spoke of the trial everyone who dies has to submit 
himself to. Thus, when he spoke about it, all the Muslims 
screamed with fear nd there was loud lamentation. (Bukhari) 

1st (tf-»3 J^> & s J>-J ^ C?. JJJ ^(YA/V A) 

juji *_>up i»L rjiis jiln oil*. ^ 1)^3 jia^jj tuU 

iji^ J 1 * j^ii v 1 ^- otk^ ^ v 1 ^* 

iij ^ }^ ^ j=*Jt <S? ^ (S^ ^ ^ o^ 1 crf^w 

Book of Faith 


(78/78) Zaid ibn Thabit narrated that once while the 
Messenger of Allah iH was passing through a grove owned by 
the tribe of Banu Najar, seated on his mule, the mule 
unexpectedly turned its course [and it seemed] that it would 
throw him down. All of a sudden, five or six graves came into 
view. The Prophet enquired, 'Does, anyone know who are 
burried in these graves" 'I do', replied one of the Companions. 
"When did they die? 1 The Prophet asked. The Companion rcpied, 
'During the days of Ignorance' The Prophet all remarked, 'They 
are undergoing punishment in the grave. Were I not afraid that 
you would no more bury your dead, 1 would have prayed to 
Allah to'let you hear a part of the chastisement of the grave that 
1 hear now. After saying this the Prophet turned towards us 
and observed, seek the protection of Allah. We all said, 'Wc 
seek the protection of Allah from the chastisement of Hell!' The 
Prophet iH then, said, 'Seek the protection of Allah from the 
chastisement of the grave.' We all said, 'We seek the protection 
of Allah from the chasisement of the grave.' The Prophet 
then, said, 'Seek the Protection of Allah from every mischief, 
manifest as well as hidden.' We all said, 'We seek the protection 
of Allah from every mischief, manifest as well as hidden.' The 
Prophet ^1, then said, 'Seek the protection of Allah from the 
[gravest] mischief of Dajjal. 1 We all said, 'Wc seek the 
protection of Allah from the mischief of Dajjal." (Muslim) 

Commentary: From the earlier Traditions we have learnt that 
Allah has kept the chastisement of the grave concealed from men 
and jinn. They do not come to know about it at all, but the other 
creatures become aware of it to some extent. The above Tradition, 
also, shows that the punishment which was being inflicted on the 
persons buried in the grave of Banu Najar was perceived not by the 
Companions c^> of the Prophet $1 but by the mule on which he 
was riding. The wisdom of it is plain. If all of us could see or hear 
what went on in the grave, the doctrine of 'Faith in the Unseen', 
would be rendered meaningless and the entire functioning of the 
universe would be thrown into disorder. When a friend or relative 
of ours is in distress we find it hard to concentrate on anything. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

What to speak of any other thing, mothers would not be able to 
suckle their children if the punishment of the grave was made 
known or visible to us. 

The Tradition, further, tells that the shrieks that were rising 
from the graves were heard by the Prophet 0 but his Companions 

m> could not hear them in the least degree. It was akin to the fact 
that often the Angel of Revelation brought a Divine revelation to 
the Prophet 0 in the presence of the Companions <&, but they 
failed to see or hear him. People who are accustomed to receiving 
an inspirtion from Allah will have little difficulty in appreciating it 
but even commoners like us can obtain some idea of it from the 
example of the dream. 1 

The Prophet's S remark "Were I not afraid that you would no 
more bury your dead, I would have prayed to Allah to let you hear a 
part of the chastsement of the grave that I hear now denotes that he 
feared that if Allah made known to them the nature of the 
punishment of the grave and they heard the screams of those 
receiving punishment, they would be seized with the fear of death, 
and it would not be possible for them to bury their dead. That is 
why, he did not pray to the Almighty for it. 

Lastly, the Prophet S has advised the Companions $p to beg 
the protection of Allah. This is a moral teaching that instead of 
trying to see or hear the punishment of the grave the Believers 
should do their utmost to save themselves from it. Protection from 
the chastisement and calamity, rests, indeed, with Allah. We 
should, therefore, always beseech Him for refuge against the 
punishment of the grave, and of Hell, and against all the manifest 
O. The common practice of Allah is that the happenings of the grave are kept 
concealed from men and jinn. We cannot have a first-hand knowledge of them. 
But it does not rule out the possibility of some aspects of the reward or 
punishment handed out to a dead person in the grave being revealed to someone 
by Allah as an extraordinary measure. In Kitab-ur-Rooh, Ibn Qaiyyim remarks, 
after narrating a number of incidents of a like nature, "There are countless events 
like these which cannot be mentioned in the present book due to want of space. 
But they all belong to the category of the reward and chastisement of the grave 
being shown occasionally by Allah to His chosen slaves in the waking state. As 
for experiencing such happenings in a dream, reports of it are so numerous that 
it would take several volumes to record them. But it is the habit of the athesits 
and infidels to refute the truths they are not aware of or whose knowledge has 
not been vouchsafed to them." 

Book of Faith ! 83 

and hidden calamiteis, particularly against the greatest of them all, 
that of Dajjal. And we should strive to keep away from the 
iniquities that are likely to bring on the grievous penalty of the 

J£ ifij jUi od* ^ J& ^ 'j> J& I'jZ Ut 

O Allah! We seek refuge in Thee from the punishment of Hell, 
and from the punishment of the grave, and from the mischiefs, 
both manifest and hidden, and from the calamity of Dajjal. 

(B) Last Day 

(79/79) It is related by Sayyidina Anas 4&> that the Messenger of 
Allah ft said: "1 and the Last Hour are like these two fingers." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: The Prophet S, after showing the index and 
middle fingers of his hand, observed that his raising up and the 
Last Day were as close to each other as they were. What he 
perhaps, intended to convey was that all the eras Allah had 
ordained for the world had come to an end. It was the last era that 
had commenced with him and would terminate with the Hour [i.e., 
Doomsday]. No Prophet was going to be sent down now nor would 
a new community be raised. We should, as such, not be heedless of 
the Resurrection imagining that it was far away. 

dlil oib Jii fa 4*%\ JU> 3* -/A . ) 

(80/80) It is narrated by Sayyidina Anas 4& that the Messenger 
of Allah S said: "The example of this world is like the garment 
that is torn from end to end except a threrad at the corner holds 
it together. That thread too is on the point of severing." (Baihaqi) 
Commentary: Like the preceding Hadith, this too discloses the 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

nerness of the Last Day. We must not imagine that it is very far and 
be neglectful of it. Rather, we must believe it to be very near and 
make preparations for it. 

(81/81) It is related by Sayyidina Jabir 4^> that, he heard the 
Prophet H say a month, before his death: "You ask me about 
the Last Hour while its appointed time is known only to. Allah. 
And I can swear by Him that there is no living person on the 
face of the earth on whom a hundred years pass and he is still 
alive at that time." (Muslim) 

Commentary: It appears from the Qur'an as well as the Traditions 
that people often used to ask the Prophet S about the Last Hour as 
to when it was to come. The reply of the Prophet S always was 
what is contained in this Tradition, i.e., its previous fixed time was 
known only to Allah and He alone was aware of the year, month 
and day on which it was going to take place. He had not granted its 
knowledge to anyone. 

The Prophet H has made another observation in the above 
Tradition besides answering the question that was put to him. He 
has said that those who were alive in the world at that time would 
all be dead within a hundred years. It shows that the appointed time 
of the Last Day, when everything that exists will be destroyed, was 
not known to him. It was only in the knowledge of Allah. What he 
had, however, revealed to the Prophet H was that the existing 
generation would come to an end within a hundred years and those 
who were alive then would be dead before the passage of a century. 
Thus, for them it could be said that the Last Day would come 
within a hundred years. 

Book of Faith 185 

(82/82) It is related by Sayyidina Anas 4s^> that the Messenger of 
Allah ill said: "The Last Day shall not arrive until [such an evil 
time comes that] Allah. Allah "is not said in the world at all." [In 
some reports of this Tradition it is stated "The Last Day shall 
not be established on anyone who says Allah, Allah]." 1 (Muslim) 

Commentary: The Last Day will come when the world will 
become wholly bereft of the remembrance of Allah and no one here 
will worship Him or carry out His commands. When the things will 
come to such a pass the whole of the universe will be desroyed. 
The remembrance of Allah and the rendering of due allegiance to 
Him enable the world to carry on and exist. The day it will become 
devoid of these things it will be broken to pieces at the command 
of its Creator. 

(83/83) It is related by Abdullah bin Mas'ood 4& that the 
Messenger of Allah .# said: "The Last day shall not come 
except on the worst of men." (Muslim) 

Commentary: The Last Day will come when no devout anc 
virtuous man will be left in the world and it will be populated 
wholly by sinners and ungodly people 

• t>"<! "ft* -i <r> ,,,,,, - , >\ 

jt^i i^li jj^L; ij ii r £^' £*^3 ^ 

O. Some ulama have correctly established the Name of Allah as worth mention 
and effective on the basis of this Hadith. May Allah show mercy on Ibn 
Taymiyah who may not have seen this Hadith. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Pari I 

2L»Jr\ kit c4*8^ 4ilT 'jlai <3> ' J-J'ji J*>^' ^*-iiJ (3*^*9* 

( ( »JL^9ijj) .JlJj^ Jii^j^t_^J\ij 

(84/84) It is narrated by Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Amr 4fe that 
the Messenger of Allah 0 said: Dajjal will appear (before the 
Last Day) and he will stayfor forty. Abdullah ibn Amr 4|s> said 
that he did not know whether the Prophet meant forty days, 
month or years. He narrated further that he also said: "Then 
Allah will send Isa ibn Maryam as though he is Urwah ibn 
Mas'ood (Thaqafi in resemblance). He will seek Dajjal and 
eliminate him. Then he will live with the people for seven years. 
And (through his blessings, people will be united and) there will 
not be even two men who hate and antagonise one another. 
Then Allah will send a cool breeze from Syria which will not 
leave on earth anyone who has even an atom's worth of piety in 
him or, he said on atom's worth of faith in him. 1 Even if one of 
you goes into a mountain, the breeze will reach him there and 
cause him to die. Then, only the evil people will remain in this 
world. They will have the speed of birds and mind of the savage 
beasts, They will not know piety and goodness and will not 
consider evil a bad thing. The devil will come to them in a form 
and say, "Will you not be ashamed?" They will ask him, "What 
is your command?" So, he will command them to worship idols. 
They will have abundant provision and enjoy a good living. 
Then the trumpet will be blown and he who hears will have his 
head drop that side and arise at the other. The first man to hear 
will be one who would be occupied in repairing the reservoir of 
his camel with dust. He will fail unconcious and then die. 
Everyone else will also die and fall down. Then Allah will send 
a light rain as though it was dew, and create a freshness in 

. The breeze will be a comfort for the faithful that they may die before the Last 
Day and not have to endure its ordeal. 

Book of Faith 


human bodies. Then, a second trumpet will be blown and 
everyone will get up all of a sudden and they will see. They will 
be toldj "O People! Walk towards your Master and Lord." (And 
the angels will be commanded) to get them to stand (in the place 
of reckoning). They will be asked and their account will be 
taken). Then the command will issue: "Take out the hosts of 
Hell." It will be submitted, "How many out of how many?" The 
command: "Out of a thousand, nine hundred and ninty-nine". 
The Prophet m said further: That is the day which turns 
children old and that is the day of hardship. • (Muslim) 

Commentary: The Prophet iH has described some of the events 
from the coming of Dajjal to the gathering for account-taking. 
There are other Ahadith that describe the signs of the Last Day and 
the Resurrection and beyond that. They describe briefly the events 
that will take place in hundreds or thousands of years. If we bear 
this in mind then we shall overcome many doubts. 

The Hadith concludes that the angels will be told that 999 out 
of 1000 will go to Hell. It is not wrong that the disbelievers in the 
world match this figure, 999 out of 1000. Besides, some exegetes 
include in these people those who will be taken out of Hell by the 
mercy and forgiveness of Allah. Though they will deserve to go 

(O Allah, Your forgiveness is , ^Jj ^ ^\ 

more vast than our sins and w " _ 

Your mercy is more reliable ls*^ 1— >-*p-jj 

than our deeds). UUpI >» 

,J~J> 4X4^1 J «UJl3l A3 jj-An i^j^Lfij ^jul ULS 

(85/85) It is related by Abu Sa'eed Khudri 4& that the 
Messenger of Allah HI said: How can I be happy and free from 
anxiety when the fact is that the Angel of the Trumpet is 
holding the Trumpet in his mouth and he is, listening attentively 
and his bow is bent, and he is waiting eagerly for the command 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Pari I 

to blow the Trumpet. The Companion enquired, 'O Messenger 
of Allah what [then] is your order for us? [Meaning when 
the situation is so grim, tell us what to do in order to save 
ourselves from the horrors of the Last Day]'. The Prophet H 
replied: 'Say much and often: 

Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best of Helpers'." (Tirmizi) 

%\ ^4 jt M ^4 & ft \'r?± 

(86/86) Abu Razeen Uqaili 4& related to us that he asked the 
Prophet HI: 

"How will Allah revive His creatures and bring them back to life 
and what are its portents [in the present world]?" The Prophet 
replied: "Has it never happened to you that you passed 
through the valley of your community and found it dry (due to 
drought), and, then, coming upon it again after some time, 
discovered that it was blooming with lush-green vegetation 
[after the rains]?" "Yes, Messenger of Allah" he said. The 
Prophet H remarked, "This is the portent of Resurrection in the 
present world. Allah will raise all men from death in the same 
manner." (Razeen) 

Ci\ £ pLj Jj> it Jt| J J Jft jP(AV/AY) 

(88/88) It is related by Abdullah ibn Umar 4^ that the 
Messenger of Allah H said: "Whoever wishes to know about 
the Last Day as if the scene of it was spread before his eyes 
should read these chapters of the Qur'an: 

kXill^j-di'/jt joll ill 
When the sun is overthrown ;(A1-Takwir, 81:1-2) when the heaven 

Book of Faith 


is cleft asunder. 

and , when the heaven is split asunder. 1 (Tirmizi) 

oil jtl dp^i ijhl jjjJut jii uty# j^>: 
jli- u^t Jip Uj ^ ^ i^ij Ci\ UjU^-i 

(88/88) Abu Hurayrah ^k> related "[Once] the Messenger of 
Allah m> recited the verse: 

The day it [the Earth] will relate it chornicles from surah Az 
Zilzal, and [then] asked those who were present: 'Do you know 
what it means?' The Companions i^b replied, 'Allah and His 
Messenger know best.' The Prophet explained, "On the Day 
of Judgement the earth will bear witness to the deeds performed 
by men on it [i.e., at the biding of Allah the earth will declare 
that such-and-such a person had done such-and-such thing on it 
on such-and-such a day]." (Musnad Ahmad and Tirmizi) 

Commentary: Whatever a man does on earth is preserved by the 
part of it on which it is done and will remain preserved till the Last 
Day when it will testify to it before the Lord. 

It was never difficult for he Believers to accept the truth of 
revelations like it but now scientific inventions have made it easy 
for everyone to understand and believe in them. 

j-tJt ^'Jii jOLt ^ ^ jLih ^ ;i£jpi $ J~i^Ji 

(89/H) Sayyidina Miqdad 4§& said that he heard the Messenger 
1 . AMnfitar, 82:1 " 


Meaning and Massage of the Traditions Pari I 

of Allah ^ say, "On the Day of Resurrection, the sun will be 
very near the creation. In fact, it will be like a mile away from 
them. And people will perspire according to their deds (the 
more bad man's deeds, the more he will perspire). Some will 
have their perspiration up to their ankles, some up to their 
knees, some up to above their buttocks and some will get it in 
their mouths," and he pointed to his mouth with his hand (that 
their perspiration will go into it). (Muslim) 

Commentary: We cannot draw a correct picture of the events that 
will take place on the Last Day and the hereafter. We will find out 
everything when we face the facts. 

Hjau p4>\ W p&yrj J* jl jAU ^1d9l ^aL^I 

(90/90) It is reported by Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah that the 
Prophet H said: "On the Day of Resurrection all men will be 
raised in three groups: One, the pedestrians; two, the riders; and 
, three those who will be walking on their faces." On being 
asked how would the people [belonging to third group] walk on 
their faces, the Prophet 0 replied, "Allah who has made them 
walk on foot also posses the power to make them walk on their 
faces." [Be it known that it is through their faces that they will 
avoid obstacles like a mound and a thron]. (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: Commentators have described the three groups 
indicated in the above saying as follows: those walking on foot will 
be the general body of Believers; the second group of riders will be 
made up of the favourities of Allah and His devout bondsmen who 
will be treated with honour and ceremony in the Hereafter from the 
very beginning and the men who will be walking on their heads or 
faces will be the ill-fated ones who did not follow the teachings of 
the Prophets in their earthly existence but pursued wrong and 
crooked paths till the end of their lives. The initial punishment for 
the wretched people belonging to this last category will be that 

Book of Faith 


instead of walking on foot they will be made to walk on their faces 
and just as we negotiate obstacles on the road and avoid throns and 
stone with the aid of our feet they will have to do so with the aid of 
their faces. 

4 $ ^ Ljj> & jis > j^3 u; ^iju u) i jliS faj A 6^ 

(^x. ^Jt «i jj) «3j& V iS' 6^ 6! Y^j\ djfe 

(91/91) Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah 
H said: "Whoever will die shall repent and feel sorry (over his 
life]." Messenger of Allah, he was asked, "Why will he repent?" 
The Prophet 0 replied, "If he had been a virtuous man, he will 
regret that he did not practise greater virtue [and won greater 
reward], and if he had led a sinful life, he will regret that he did 
not abstain from evil-doing. (Tirmizi) 

Before Allah And Examination of Deeds 

x£'&*% 3& * >-^3 Jub juii vVji^WS >i? 

(92/92) Adi ibn Hatim reproted that the Messenger of Allah m 
said: "[At Resurrection] Allah will speak directly and 
face-to-face to everyone of you so that there will neither be 
aspokesman nor a screen intervening [between Him and you]. 
[At that time, the condition of the bondsman will be such that he 
will be looking hither and thither in astonishment and 
helplessness]. Thus, when he will look towards the right, he will 
see nothing but his deeds, and when he will look towards the 
left, he will see nothing but his deeds, and when he will look in 
front, he will see nothin but fire. Hence, O men, save yourselves 
from the Fire of Hell even through a dry piece of a dried date." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: It calls upon men to practise charity in order to save 

1 92 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

themselves from Hell and even if they have nothing to give away 
except a piece of a dried date, they should try to ward off the 
punishment of Hell by giving it in the way of Allah. 
Note:- The Qur'an and the Tradition describe the Day of Final 
Requital and its horrors and the severity of the chastisement 
of Hell to warn the bondsmen so that they may guard 
themselves against the dreadful sequel of the Hereafter. In the 
above saying this purpose has been distinctly indicated but the 
aim of the Traditions in which it has not been done should 
also be taken to be the same]. 

jti ? izJ\ & £j J* in u; 13)15 jis ^\ ^ { <\ r / «i r > 

jil u*j* j 53^ ur is a£ j> * ir2 

J3& Jtf ^ £>3 j# ^13 j^'13 j^ji Jtf^Lii 3 
^ jiL^ ur uJ'lJi A3 jiil J3ii «/ ^5 ^ cJlyi 
dla y3 u J3ii jQii jL aJ J32J dJ&i JL; £j iiL ^isli 

3&bj ii*u djv 6 5 jiij ^ Jj^ 

aLy jfe^ tX*A Ji^j 4j Ji* ^U. Jl^ij ^jjiS ^ 
J&li 3 ^Liii J&iyj *-Ji 3 JjuJ JSJii3 <uL iilkp 3 iUJj 

(93/93) It is reported by Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah that some 
of the Companions tasked, "O Messenger of Allah ill Shall 
we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?" He said, "Do 
anyone of you find it difficult to observe the sun in the 
afternoon when it is not behind a cloud?" They said, "No!" So, 
he said, "Is it difficult for one of you to see the full moon if 
there is no cloud concealing it?" They said, "No!" Then, he said, 
"By Him in Whose power is my life! Just as you can see the 

Book of Faith 


moon and the sun without difficulty and difference, you will see 
your Lord on the Day of Resurrection." The Prophet then 
said, "When a slave meets Allah on the Day of Resurrection. 
Allah will say to him: Did I not give you honour in the world? 
Did I not make you a leader of your people? Did I not give you a 
wife? Horses and camels? Were you not free to take one-fourth 
from the booty of war?" The slave will confirm, 'Yes, my Lord. 
You did indeed gave me all that.' Allah will say to him: "Did 
you imagine that you will be before Me one day?" He will say. 
"I did not imagine that." Allah will say: "Today, I forget you 
with My Mercy as you had forgotten Me." After that another 
slave will face Allah and He will speak to him in the same 
manner. Then, Allah will meet a third slave and say the same 
things to .him until the slaves says, 'My Lord! I believed in you 
and in Your Book and Your Messenger And 1 established salah 
observed fasting, gave charity (and did other things also).' He 
will recall his good deeds as far as he can. Allah will say: Wait 
here! Then, he will be told: We are bringing a witness against 
you. He will wonder who that could be. Then his mouth will be 
sealed and his thigh will be commanded, speak out! So, his 
thighs, his flesh and his bones will bear witness for his deeds. 
And Allah will do that that he may not have an excuse. He will 
be a hypocrite and Allah will be angry at him. (Muslim) 

Commentary: The Companions ^ had merely asked if they 
would see Allah on the Day of Resurrection. He also made it clear 
that all of them will be able to see Allah at one time just as they see 
the sun and the moon. He then pointed out how those people who 
have been bestowed blessings but have forgotten Allah will feel 
degraded when called to account by Allah. As for the hypocrites 
who speaks lies, their limbs, flesh and bones will testify against 
them disclosing the falsehood. 

The Prophet H gave more information than the question asked 
and drew their attention to the account-taking on the Day of 
Resurrection. They will be asked about Allah's blessings and they 
will not be able to conceal their sins. 

pJU J jLi iJLT Cj'i iJ J jAj 6jS*+JJ &S> J^J*Jl 

Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part 1 

((►^J fl1 J J) o jSs^ 1 

(94/94) It is related by Abdullah bin Umar that the 
Messenger of Allah iH said: "On the Last Day, Allah will draw 
His faithful bondsman [towards His Mercy] and cover him up 
with His mantle and ask him, 'Do you recognise this sin and that 
[i.e., do you remember having committed them]'? The 
bondsman will reply, 'Yes, O Lord, I remember.' Allah will, 
thus, make him confess all of his misdeeds and he will begin to 
fear in his heart that he was doomed to a sorrowful end. Allah 
will, then, say, 'I had concealed these sins of yours in the world 
and, today, I condone them and grant you forgiveness. 1 The 
record of his good actions will be handed over to him [i.e., only 
the record of his virtuous deeds will come to the knowledge of 
the people gathered for the Judegement and- Allah will settle the 
question of his sins away from their sight]. But, with the 
infidels and the hypocrites it will be different. It will be declared 
openly that these are the men who attributed fictitious things to 
Allah [i. e., invented their own faith by entertaining baseless 
notions about Him]. Beware! The curse of Allah is upon the 
unbelievers." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

ft j# cS± 361 d$f S dill * pi 

'jp\y a& ^ fi^ J^fo j^3 jia 

& J, f » *&H !ji *fe & d? fit J* jj* 1 f J U J^i 

(jju oijj) ^ j »ii >i>*Ji %j o^fc ^133 

(95/95) Sayyidah Ayshah l^iii^j narrated that once she 
began to cry at the thought of Hell. The Prophet asked her, 
"What makes you cry?" "I thought of Hell and the fear of it 
made me weep. She asked, Will you remember the members of 

Book of Faith 


your family on the Day of Judgment?" "No one will remember 
anyone [or care for him] at three places," the Prophet % 
observed. "Once, when the Scales of Justice will be set up and 
up to the time it will be handed over and, on receiving it in the 
right hand, one truthful Believer will joyously say to the other, 
'Reed it', and up to the time it will not be known in which hand 
the Book of Deeds is to be given, in the right hand, or in the 
left, or from behind; and, three when the Bridge will be placed 
over the Bottomless Pit [and everyone will be commanded to 
pass over it]." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: The substance of the Prophet's $i reply is that, on 
the Day of Judgement, three occasions will be so terrible that 
everyone will be concerned only with his own fate and no one will 
be able to come to anyone's rescue: (i) when the deeds will be 
weighed and till the time the result is known; (ii) when people will 
be waiting for the Book of Deeds and everyone will be wondering 
whether it is given to him in the right hand or the left [i.e., he is 
found worthy of forgiveness and reward or wrath and punishment]; 
and, (iii), when the Bridge of Sirat will be placed over Hell and 
everyone will be called upon to pass over it. 

In brief, all of us should strive earnestly for the Hereafter and 
refrain from depending upon anyone for our salvation. 

Rights of Fellowmen on The Day of Judgement 

%\ J*pfo Sysj dill ijM j*C\V<\^) 

J l^J^-J i&jH&t J o! A» Jj-j >i Jta 

6^ &j ^ ^ 5^ fify d\j <~£U 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

(t5 ^t aijj) . J>i ^ ^ rf?j& est ty- 

(96/96) Sayyidah Ayshah <S»' has narrated that once a 
person came to the august presence of the Messenger of Allah 
£H and sat in front of him. He, then, said, "O Messenger of 
Allah all! 1 have some slaves who sometimes tell me a lie or 
steal my property or disobey me, and I scold them and, 
sometimes, I also punish them. How is it going to turn out for 
me on the Day of Judgement?" The Prophet iH replied, "Allah 
will dispense justice correctly on the Day of Requital. If the 
punishment you meted out to them is proportionate to their 
faults you will neither get nor have to give anything. You will 
be quits. If the punishment turns out to be of a lesser degree 
than what they merited, you will be recompensed for it. If the 
punishment proved to be excessive, you will have to 
recompense the slaves." On hearing the Prophet's £H reply, the 
enquirer drew aside and began to cry. The Prophet said to 
him, "Have you not heard the Qur'anic verse: 

We shall set up scales of justice ^JjjJ, ^,^J, l^j 

for the Day of Judgement, so , ^* , 

that not a soul will be dealt J**J 
with unjustly in the least. And ^ , -. '\\&* 
if there be [no more than] the " & ^ ' ^ 

weight of a mustard seed, We '{jx-*^ ^ J^J ^ 

will bring it [to account] and (ivy\ 
enough are We to take 
account." (Al-Anbiyaa,21:47) 

The man said, "Then I do not anything better for me and for 
them than to send them away [in the name of God]. I declare 
before you that I have set them free, and now they are 
free-men." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: Such is the resplendent beauty of Faith and this is 
what is expected of truthful Believers. If they fear the loss of the 
Hereafter in any worldly thing then they should give it up 
immediately however disadvantageous it may appear from the 
worldly point of view. ■ 

Book of Faith 


Weight of the Name of God 
in The Scales of Deeds 

lift ja JjfiJ ^ j-a31 li ji? Jj?uj 1h*t**> J 

j)o 4^33 iiUi 5' -m^'3 *M 6' If*' 

V Jj^i* 0"^j»iJJl *4-* f ^ ■ 1 J J^s 3 ^* j3 .r^' 

(97/97) It is related by Abdullah ibn 'Amr 4» that the 
Messenger of Allah iH said: "On the Day of Resurrection. Allah 
will bring out a man from among my followers, in the presence 
of all creatures, and ninety-nine volumes will be placed before 
him, each of which will be as long as the eye can see. It will, 
then, be said to him, '[These are your Books of Deeds]. Do you 
deny any of the deeds mentioned in them? Have Our angels who 
kept a watch on your actions and recorded them been unjust to 
you [and entered a sinful act wrongfully in your account]?' He 
will reply, 'No, my Lord! [No one has been unjust to me and 1 
am guilty of all the transgressions].' Allah will, then, say. 'Have 
you any excuses to offer?' He will reply, 'No, my Lord, 1 have no 
excuses.' It will go on like this till [from the question and 
answers the man and all the others present will begin to feel that 
he was doomed but, then, the benevolence of the Most Merciful 
among those who show mercy will reveal itself and] Allah will 
say, 'O yes! We have also with Us a special virtuous deed of 
yours and no injustice will be done to you this day [i.e., you will 
not be deprived of its advantages].' And, a piece of paper will be 
produced on which will be written : Ash-had-o- An-La- 
Illa-ha-U-lallah wa Ash-had-o-Ana Muhammadan Abduhu wa 
Rasuluhu [I affirm that there is no god save Allah and I affirm 
that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger]. The bondsman 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

will, then, be told to make his way to the place where his deeds 
were to be wieghed [i.e., he will be told to go there and have 
wieghment done in his presence]. He will, submit, 'O Lord! 
What comparison does this piece of paper bear with the 
volumes? [i.e., What is the use of going there? The result is 
known already].' 'No', Allah will say, 'You will not be dealt with 
unjustly. [Full justice will be done to you. The piece of paper 
you consider to be of no value will also be weighed before you 
and the worth and weight of the Kalimah will be made known 
today and its full benefit will be given to you. So, despair not 
and go to the Scales of Deeds and see what it proves to be].' 
After it, the ninety-nine volumes will be placed on one pan, and 
the piece of paper will turn out to be heavier than the 
ninety-nine volumes. Nothing [indeed] can be more weighty 
than the name of Allah." (Tirmizi and Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: According to some authrorities the Kalimah 
referred to in the above Tradition is the one that will have been 
recited for the first time with the object of stepping out of the 
bounds of infidelity and polytheism and entering into the fold of 
Islam. At the time of the wieghment of deeds on the Day of 
Judgement it will have the effect of annulling all the sins 
committed before the acceptance of Islam. We have seen already a 

All previous sins are forgiven <£| -.g^ijj- V*.J, ?, 

on the acceptance of of Islam. ' 0 > 

Another popular explanation is that it alludes to the case of the 
bondsman who had led a life of folly and transgression for a long 
time and one volume after another had got compiled of his 
misdeeds till Allah showed mercy to him and he earnestly set right 
his bond with Allah and the Prophet through the Kalimah and died 
in that state. But Allah knows best. 

Lenient Reckoning 

Jjii ^3 a^Ip 4»i t j-fi&\ c. * »..-.> cits iJbiP a/*\ A) 
'jLJ\ 4>u*j ^ u cis £J ^ $\ 43i ^ jp% 

Book of Faith 199 

(JU*-1eljj) .k_XLft 

(98/98) It is related by Sayyidah Ayshah At ^ "I heard the 
Prophet iH making the supplication in some of his salah 

"O Allah! Let the reckoning be >>^ 
easy for me." 

I asked him, 'O Messenger of Allah iHl What is meant by an 
easy reckoning?' He replied, 'It means that the bondsman's Book 
of Deeds is seen and passed over [i. e., he is not questioned 
about it]. The truth, O Ayshah, is that he will be lost whose 
Balance-Sheet of Deeds is examined on the Day of Judgement." 

(Musnad Ahmad) 

How Short and Easy of Day of 
Judgement Will be for Believers 

(99/99) It is narrated by Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri that [once] he 
went to the Messenger of Allah W> and said: "The Day of 
Judgement, about which it has been said: 

On the Day when men will stand in the presence of the Lord of 
the Worlds. (AI-Mutaffifin,83:6) 

who will have the strength to remain standing on it [i.e., who 
will be able to stand throughout the day of Judgement about 
which it is stated in the Qur'an and the Traditions that it will be 
equal to fifty thousand years]?" The Prophet 0 replied, "For 
the truthful Believers it will be made easy to stand on that Day 
so much so that it will be like standing for an obligatory Salah. 


Commentary: An indication of what the Prophet told Abu Sa'eed 
Khudri is also available in the Qur'an which reads: 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

For when the Trumpet shall ^ j ^ ^ 

sound, surely that day will be a " 

day of anguish, not of ease, for jj^i&l i Js- fjT 4~*Ji 

the disbelievers. j,„, _ 

(Al-Muddaththir74:8-10) 0 • -A:Vi jUJl) Oj-^jj-P 

This shows that it will not be a day of anguish, but of ease for 
the Believers. 

Those Who Keep Awake at Nights For Allah Will 
Go to Heaven Without Going Through Reckoning 

(jUjVi v*^ us* Jj) ■ v* 1 -*^ 1 i^l c/^' ^* Ji V^^V^ 

(100/100) It is related by Sayyidah Asma binti Yazid' that the 
Messenger of Allah $p said: "On the Judgement Day all men, 
after being raised up again, will be gathered together in a vast 
and flat plain (and) the herald of the Lord will call out, 'Where 
are they whose sides kept away from bed during the night [i.e., 
who used to leave their beds in order to offer the Tahajjud 1 
prayer ]?' These men will stand up after this announcement and 
their number will not be large. After it, they will enter Heaven 
without being brought to account. All the rest of men will, then, 
be commanded to report themselves for the Reckoning."(Baihaqi) 

A Large Number of Muslims will 
Enter Paradise Without Reckoning 

J (iJL-j aJp -oil (^JU> *3ii J}~>3 c-jw-j JlSiiUl • \/\ • ^) 

( ^ip OL^^lili l^L* 'J>\ # £*S\ J>Ai j\ ^] ^ tej 

101 (101) It is reported by Sayyidina Umamah *£p> that he heard 
the Messenger of Allah M say, "My Lord has promised me that 
he would admit to Paradise seventy thousand of my ummah 
O. A supererogatory prayer said during the last part of the night. 

Book of Faith 


without questioning and without punishment. And, with every 

one thousand of them will be seventy thousand. And, three 

handfuls will be added of the handfuls of my Lord." 

(Ahmad, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: When both hands are filled to give someone 
something, it is called Hathiyah (handful), in Arabic. The Hadith, 
therefore, says that Allah has assured that He will admit seventy 
thousand of the Prophet's ummah to Paradise without reckoning 
and punishment. Then, each one thousand of them will be 
accompanied by seventy thousand who will also enter Paradise 
without reckoning and without punishment. Further, as a special 
mercy, Allah will send a large section of the Prophet's ummah, 
three times, to Paradise. And, all of them will not be subjected to 
reckoning or punishment. 

(Glory be to You with Your tfj£u^»j J>Jl*^ 

praise, O The Most Merciful of ~ ' ' * 

those who show Mercy). Js^'jr 
The reality of such Ahadith will be realised when we 
experience them. In this life, we cannnot imagine or understand 
even those things properly which we read in newspapers. Allah has 
said the truth: 

(And of Knowledge you have *i\ JUll ^sifjl lij 

been vouchsafed but little) ' 1 r ' 

(Al-Asr'a 17:85) (*°^^) 

The Pond of Kausar, the Bridge 
of Sirat and the Scales of Justice 

Among the few things mentioned by name in the Traditions 
pertaining to the Hereafter are the Pond of Kausar, the Bridge of 
Sirt and the Scales of Justice. 

Kausar, in some Traditions, is reffered to as a Pond, and, in 
others, as a River. Again, it appears from some Traditions that it is 
located inside the Paradise while from others that its location is on 
the outer side of it, and, before entering Heaven, the Believers will 
be admitted to the august presence of the holy Prophet S and they 
will drink its extremely pure, sweet and sparkling water from his 
hand. Commentators, however, are unanimously of the opinion that 
the well-spring of Kausar is situated within Paradise and canals 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

flowing from it are spread throughout its length and breadth, and 
what is called the Pond of Kausar is a most beautiful tank, 
hundreds of miles long and wide, which is located outside Heaven 
but connected with the well-spring within it. Thus, the water of the 
Pond will come through canals from the fountain of Paradise. 

Another thing is that from the word 'Pond' one is often led to 
think of the ponds that are generally found in the world, but vastly 
different as the pond of Kausar will be in splendour and inner 
significance from the ponds we see on the earth-in the same way as 
everything belonging to Heaven shuld be-, the Traditions, further, 
tell that it will be so extensive that it will take a traveller a month to 
cover the distance between its two banks. In a Tradition the 
distance is reported to be the same as between Amman and Aden. 

It is, indeed, impossible in this world to form a correct idea of 
the things of the Hereafter even in the light of what is stated about 
them in the Traditions. Their real shape will be known only when 
we shall see them in future existence. The same should be kept in 
the mind in connection with Sirat and Scales as well. 

W ft jtfij JU> JlS Jll ^\ . yf\ . Y) 

( 1 02/1 02) It is related by Sayyidina Anas that the Messenger 
of Allah ill said: "While I was walking in Paradise 1 saw a 
[strange] river on either bank of which there were domes made 
of concave pearls. 'What is it?' I enquired from Jibreel. 'It is the 
Kausar which your Lord has given to you,' he replied. 1 found 
that its soil was as fragrant as musk." (Bukhari) 

Commentary: The incident related in the above saying, probably, 
took place on the Night of Ascension and in the reply of Jibreel 
SfesB "It is the Kuasar which you Lord has given you" the allusion is 
to the Qur'anic verse which reads: 

Lo! We have given thee . ^„ vv 

Kausar. (ALKauftaMOSM) 

"Kausar' literally, means the Abundance of Good. Though it 
includes all the treasure-houses of goodness Allah has bestowed 

Book of Faith 


upon the Prophet m, like the Qur'an, the Shari'ah and the sublime 
spiritual qualities and dignity and eminence of poision in both the 
worlds, yet it refers mainly to the river of Paradise and the Pond 
connected with it which is located in the open field of concourse 
on the Day of Requital [and at which people without number will 
drink]. In other words, the priceless blessings conferred by Allah 
upon the holy Prophet H pertaining to Faith, and which have 
reached through him to innumerable persons, will be made known 
in the form of the River and Pond of Kausar in the Hereafter and 
countless bondsmen of Allah will quench their thrist at them. 

jfcj &'fa Jj> fa J^i»5 jjjil j^U J>fa \ -r/i .r> 

. iJtf Li* *S l& >U-lJl 

(103/103) It is related by Abdullah ibn 'Amr ^ the Messenger 
of Allah said: "The journey of my Pond is of one month [i.e., 
the Pond of Kausar is so large that it takes a month to go from 
one side of it to the other], and its angles [i.e., corners] are equal 
[which, apparently, means that it is square, having four equal 
sides], and its water is whiter than milk and more 
sweet-smelling than musk, and its drinking-vessels are like the 
stars of the firmament [meaning, probably, that they are as 
bright and innumerable as the stars]. Whoever drinks its water 
shall never be thristy." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

(104/104) It is related by Sahl ibn Sa'd 4^ that the Messenger 
of Allah m said; "I shall go to the Pond of Kausar before you 
and arrange for the slaking of you thirst. Whoever will come to 
me will drink the water of Kuasar and whoever will drink the 

204 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

water of Kausar will never feel thristy, and there will be some 
people who will recognise me and I will recognise them and 
they will come towards me but a barrier will be set up between 
us. I will say, 'But these people are mine.' The reply I will 
receive will be, 'Do you know what innovations they introduced 
[and what difficulties they created]? '1 will, then, say, 'Let 
destruction and separtion be the lot of those who brought about 
dissension in Faith after me and tampered with it.' 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: It is difficult to say who will be prevented from 
going to the Prophet iH at the Pond of Kausar. Nor is it necessary. 
The chief lesson the above saying imparls is that if we are desirous 
of joining the Prophet iH at Kausar, we must remain steadfast in 
Faith and detest from making changes and innovations. 

JJLP <OljS"l j JJ**h jj> tj**\3 J^ 1 ^ 8 frlii^l O 1 *^ <J\ 

(105/105) Sayyidina Thawaban 4$s> has reported the Prophet as 
saying: "The journey of my Pond [is as long as that] from Aden 
to Amman al-Barqa, and its water is whiter than milk and 
sweeter than honey, and its drinking-vessels are [as numerous] 
as the stars. [Its water is such] that whoever drinks it shall never 
feel the pang of thrist again. The first to reach me at the Pond 
will be the indigent emigrants" 1 — the ruffled and untidy of hair 
and dirty and unkempt of attire who can not marry wealthy and 
prosperous women and for whom no doors open [i.e., who are 
not welcome anywhere]." (Ahmaed, Tirmizi and Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: The distance between one bank of the Pond of 
Kausar and the other is as much as between Aden and Amman 
[which is situated near Balqa]. In fact, this is another way of saying 
that the Pond will be spread over hundreds of miles. 

The first to reach the Pond and to drink from it will be the poor 
O. Those who had migrated from Makkah and Madinah. 

Book of Faith 


emigrants who, due to indigence and detachment from worldly 
interests, live in such a state that their hair is unclean and 
dishevelled and clothes torn and tattered. Tf they want to marry girls 
belonging to well-to-do families they will not be given to them in 
marriage, and if they go to anyone's house they will be refused 
admission on account of their miserable appearance. 

The above Tradition emphasises that those who live in poverty 
and pay little attention to their dress or appearance due to 
indiffference to earthly pleasures and anxiety for Futurity will be 
the first to obtain the rewards of the Hereafter. Modern educated 
people who mistakenly believe that such a conduct is a gross 
misconception of Faith and an outcome of the cult of 
self-mortification should ponder upon sayings like these. 

Every age has its own maladies. At one time erroneous and 
un-Islamic forms of monasticism and life-denial were regarded, in 
some circles, as the essence of Islamic asceticism. Now perhaps as 
a reaction to it, the inclination of some sectons is to make the 
teachings of Islam conform to modern materialistic trends and 
lustful propensities. 

(And Allah guides whom He ^ . ^ - ^JLftl'&j 

will to the Straight Path). ',"„-,*, 

iSjij jytftf tf}* i?j fy) J# (*? 6>6> $j ^> 

(106/106) It is related by Samurah 4p> the Messenger of Allah 
ill said: "In the Hereafter every Prophet will have a pond and he 
will take pride at the number of men who will come to drink at 
his pond. I hope the largest number of men will come to me 
[and drink at my pond]." (Tirmizi) 

^ ^ ^LL; fa &%\ ;> cJu ja ^» ^( ^ v/ \ . v) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part 1 

(107/107) Sayyidina Anas [personal attendant of the 
Prophet] has narrated that he asked the Prophet $| if he would 
intercede on his behalf on the Day of Judgement. "I will", the 
Prophet m replied. "So where should I look for you on the 
Judgement Day?" enquired Anas "When you need me, first 
of all look for me at Sirat [The Bridge]," said the Prophet A. 
"And if I do not find you there?" asked Anas "Look for me, 
then, at Mizan [the Scales]", replied the Prophet ||. "Where 
may 1 seek you," asked Anas "If you are not near Mizan as 
well?" "Then look for me at the Hauz [Pond]. I will not go away 
from these three places at that time," the Prophet H replied. 


Commentary: It shows that intercession on the Last Day is one of 
the things for which a request can be made to the Prophet £H and 
though the Prophet H has indicated to Anas ^ the three places 
for meeting him, it is meant for all the seekers of intercession. 

fLj JU> JJiJ Jli Jll if* j 5j£jl g*o . a/1 . A) 

(108/108) It is related by Mughirah ibn Sh'ubah that the 
Messenger of Allah S said: "The distinguishing mark of the 
Believers on the Bridge will be the prayer: 'O Allah! keep us 
safe. Let us cross [it] with safety." (Tirmizi) 

(The Sirat (bridge) and Mizan (scale) have been mentioned in 
some earlier Ahadith.) 


Intercession by the Prophet HI one of the events concerning the 
Day of Requital about which explict information has been given in 
the Traditions and to believe in them is an essential religious duty 
of the Muslims. The number of Traditions relating to it is very 
large, and, taking them together, the authorities have concluded 
that the Prophet A will intercede again and again and in various 
ways. First, when all men will be marshalled before Allah for Final 

Book of Faith 


Reckoning. They will be striken dumb with fear and astonishment. 
Even the Prophets from Sayyidina Aadam will have enough 
concern of their own to make them indifferent to others calling out 
nafsi, nafsi (my self). The sacred Prophet iH will be implored by 
them, and, moved by their pathetic state, will step forward with 
fullest faith in the Mercy of Allah and He will entreat Him humbly 
that the state of anxious uncertainty and expectation be ended, the 
Reckoning done and the Judgement pronounced. It will be the first 
act of intercession before Allah and the sacred Prophet iH will do 
it. It is then that the Final Requital will begin. This intercession, as 
we have seen, will be for the whole of mankind, and hence, it is 
also called the Great Intercession. Then, the Prophet 0 will plead 
on behalf of the sinners among his own followers who will have 
been condemned to Hell due to their wicked actions. This 
intercession will, also, be granted and a large number of his 
transgressing followers will, in his way, be taken out of Hell. The 
Prophet 0 will, further, pray for some devout and virtuous 
Believers that they may be admitted to Heaven without their deeds 
being brought to account. Similarly, he will beseech Allah for 
elevation in the ranks of many of his follwers. All these types and 
events of intercession have been described in the Traditions. 

The Traditions also tell us that once the door of intercession is 
opened through the Prophet A, other Prophets, the angels and the 
earnest bondsmen of Allah, too, will plead on behalf of the 
Believers in whom they will be interested, and even the children of 
believing men and women who had died in infancy will interpose 
with Allah for their parents which will also be granted and the 
salvation of a good many people will take place in that way. 

But all the intercessions will come to pass only by the grace of 
Allah and by His permission, and no Prophet or Angel can venture 
to take even a single man out of Hell or intercede on his behalf 
without His leave. The Qur'an says: 

Who is he that intercedeth with ^ ^, - 

Him save by His leave? " 
[Al-Baqarah 2:255] 

As some ulama have wisely observed, intercession will only be 
for making evident the glory of and the Divine fondness for those 

208 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

who will intercede and with a view to exalt them, otherwise no one 
can interfere with the Functions and Judgement of the Almighty. 
He is One Who: 

(does what He would and ■ ; t y L - 

decides what He intends). < * s ' ' 


Here are some Ahadith on this subject: 

'^(^j Jl>& Jj-*j u-^C^O • V\ • 1) 

jis*^ Oj^ (j^y 1 Js^ C$3 $ ^-^ Jj*=* 

J 'yip ii'yQ <as-»IS'j £&\ £j j ijli ^5«*4*^ ijQ'} $ 

iip ^ o^ 1 * $ Ul Jj 51 * f*-*-* (iQ* $ ^-^ 

Jl^>j ^.1 i Ji j £9j1 juA* U J laid lvLsrL*> iS j>>\'j 

4-Ji J> £ y-li jikjl Jlii ^ Jj* 1 * i**^ t^'j J** 3 

> y > ^ ^ s > ^ ^ * ^ ^ } j J ^ y ^ ) s ^ j & x J ^ j ^ ^ J ■* 

ji** ^is ^ ^ tf* ^ ^ ^ 9j b - Jj® ^ 

^AJjlj aJoaj J-^j Jij wS^'j £3j! JU^oU JlLd IJjvLj aJ ^1 

^ *JS ^ 6^ 'J> ^Jti $*\ Jiij JgJi 4^3 b l J/U 

^ ji JLUi U Jig i^-C 43^-1 ^biUil J£L SJU^li ^1 i^i 

^3 ^3 ^33 33 JO;S jil J ii ^ jil 

Book of Faith 


(109/109) It is related by Sayyidina Anas that the Messenger 
of Allah said: "When it is the Day of Resurrection [and all 
the former and the latter ones will be gathered together on the 
field of concourse], there will be great anxiety among the peole. 
Thus, they [i.e., some of their representatives] will appraoch 
Prophet Aadam to intercede on their behalf, and he will 
reply, 'I am not worthy of it. You should better go to Prophet 
Ibrahim he is a Friend of Allah [and may be able to help 
you].' They will, accordingly appraoch Sayyidina Ibrahim 
and make the request of intercession to him. He, too, will reply, 
'I am not worthy of it. You should better go to Prophet Musa 

he is the Kaleem Allah [who has spoken with Allah and 
may be of help to you].' They will, accordingly, approach 
Sayyidina Musa and make the request to him. But he will 
prely, 'I am not worthy of it. You should better go to Prophet Isa 

[and place the same request before him]. But he will also 
say, 'I am not worthy of it. You should better go to [the last of 
the Prophets] Muhammad life. They will, then, come to me and 
ask me to intercede. I will say, This is my job.' I will, then, seek 
an audience with the All-Merciful which will be granted. He 
will communicate to me the superhuman knowledge of some of 
His praises [which are not known to me at present]. I shall 
glorify Him through those praises and bow low, touching the 
ground with the forehead in reverence. [According to a report in 
Musnad Ahmad, the Prophet will remain in that posture for a 
week after which] it will be said to him, 'O Muhammad! Raise 
your head and say what you want. Your prayer will be heard. 
Ask for anything you like. It will be granted. Make whatever 
intercession you wish to make and it will be allowed.' I shall 
say, 'My followers! My followers!' [Meaning mercy may be 
shown to them today and they may be forgiven]. 1 will be told to 
go and take out [of Hell] those in whose heart there is Faith 
even of the wieght of a mustardseed. I shall go and do so. 
Afterwards, I shall return to the benevolent presence of Allah, 
and again sing His praises through the hymns inspired to me 
and fall in prostration before Him. Once more, I will be told, 'O 
Muhammad! Raise your head and say what you want. Your 
prayer will be heard. As for" anything you like and it will be 
granted. Make whatever intercession you wish to make and it 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

will be allowed.' I shall say, My followers. 'My followers.' I will 
be told to go and take out [of Hell] those in whose heart there is 
Faith even of the wieght of a dust-particle. I shall go and do so. 
Afterwards, I shall return to the benevolent presence of Allah, 
and, again sing His praises through the hymns inspired to me 
and fall in prostration before Him. It will be said to me, 'O 
Muhammad! Raise you head and say what you want. Your 
prayer will be heard. Ask for anything you like and it will be 
granted. Make any intercession you wish to make and it will be 
allowed.' I will, then say, 'O Lord! Allow me [to intercede] on 
behalf of all those who may have said La-llaha-IllAllah.' Allah 
will remark, "That is not for you.' By My Power and Glory, and 
by My Majesty and Magnificienee, I shall take out of Hell those 
who have said La-llaha-IllAllah.'" (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: A few points in the above Tradition require a 

(i) The presence of Faith in the heart of the wieght of 
mustard-seed or even less mean degrees of the effulgence of 
Faith which we do not perceive but which the holy Prophet 
% will, due to his pecial discernment, see distinctly, and, by 
the command of Allah, take out of Hell every one belonging 
to those grades. 

(ii) After interceding on behalf of his followers thrice the holy 
Prophet $t$k will, for the fourth time, beseech Allah for 
permission to plead for those who have said La-llaha-IllAllah. 
Apparently, it means men who accepted the Prophet's 0 call 
of Divine Unity and embraced Islam but did not, at all, 
observe the duties that were necessary for gaining admission 
to Heaven. The Prophet Hi will, thus, seek the permission to 
take out of Hell bondsmen who will possess Faith and believe 
in Divine Oneness to any extent but are utterly devoid of 
well-doing. (In a hadith Bukhari and Muslim, narrated by 
Sayyidina Abu Sa'eed al-Khurdri «4^>, perhaps these people to 
whom the words I jU*>pi they never did a good deed.) He 
will be told by Allah that He did not place the duty of taking 
them out of hell oft him or that it did not befit the Prophet JH, 
but was worthy only of Divine Power and Majesty, and so He 
will carry it out Himself. In our humble opinion, it signifies 

Book of Faith 211 

that it was not for the Prophet iH to take out of Hell men wo 
did not, in any way, obey the commands of Allah after they 
accepted islam. Forgiveness on such a scale was suitable only 
for the All-Merciful. But Allah knows best. 

(iii) Perhaps, this Hadith perfers briefly for a version in Bukhari 
and Muslim. The Seekers of intercession go to the Sayyidina 
Aadam ^, then to Sayyidina Nuh then Ibrahim 
This Hadith does not mention Prophet Nooh ^31. Also, it 
only mentions the ummah of the Prophet HH, but, it is 
believed that he will first make a general (Great) intercession. 
The other intercession will follow. 

(iv) Allah will put in the hearts of the seekers that they should 
appraoch Prophet Aadam then on his advice Prophet 
Nooh SSsSSi and likewise sayyidina Ibrahim SBjgSsS, Musa 

and Isa This will be put in their heart by Allah that they 
may know the favour of intercession is reserved with the 
praiseworthy station for His last Prophet 0. Allah will allow 
it to display the worthiness of the Prophet 

(1 10/1 10) It is related by Imran ibn Husayn that the Prophet 
said: "A group of my followers who will be known by the 
name of the Dwellers of Hell, will be taken out of Hell on my 
intercession." (Bukhari) 

Commentary: It will not be insulting for these people to be called 
as such but a source of joy for it will remind them of the 
Generosity and Kindliness of Allah. 

<>U Jss-iJ c>\ {g£*s ^j^'jacJs ^iW 

. iki faj tJ^jiJ V CU UlUll Ci'j&b mill* 

(1 1 1/1 1 1) 'Auf bin Maalik 4&> related that the Prophet HI said: 
"A messenger from my, Lord brought amessage, giving me the 
right to choose between two things: either Allah lets half of my 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

followers to enter Heaven or I get the choice of intercession. I 
preferred the right of intercession and my intercession shall be 
on behalf of those who [after accetping Islam and 
acknowledging the Oneness of Allha] died in such a state that 
they ascribed no partners to Him." (Tirmizi and Ibn Majah) 

( ^jbgt si jj>4-Jiji Ji # \*}\*%$\ tyi Jl! ^ipiIL 

1 12 (1 12) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4& that the Prophet S 
said: "On the Day of Recompense only those [bondsmen] will 
profit by my intercession who will have said La-Ilaha-IllAllah 
with a sincere heart." (Bukhari) 

Commentary: Both the above Traditions show that people who 
are guilty of polytheism will not be benefitted by intercession. 
Those who are free from it, but have committed other sins, will, of 
course, obtain profit from it. 

(j** o* cH 1 el J J J Jib "JJ ) J* 

(113/113) It is related by Sayyidina Anas that the Messenger 
of Allah iH said: "My intercession will be on behalf of my 
followers who will have been guilty of major sins." 

(Tirmizi, Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: It will be the height of meanness to derive the 
wrong kind of encouragement from such sayings and become more 
fearless in evil-doing. Their purpose, simply, is that he unfortunate 
ones who fall into error do not lose hope and give way to despair. 
The Prophet & will intercede on their behalf. They should on their 
part, make themselves deserving of his intercession by trying 
earnestly to set right the bond of servility to Allah and adherence to 
His Messenger. 

ju>\ $l\ Jlii g'J j! ^Js. Jtlj ^ jjtft 

Book of Faith 


Uu ^Lj Ai JL> Ai flj^Q tiLi J4?3*- »wi iLJ 

^3 js-s a 4 ^ j! jaw> j& 

(14/1 14) It is narrated by Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'Aas 4fe that 
the Prophet $f| [one day] recited the Qur'anic verse concerning 
Sayyidina Ibrahim 

My Lord! Lo! they [the idols] *j ^Jf^ yj, ^» 

have led many of mankind ' '\ ^ ^ „ ^ ; 6 
astray ,r " -{Al-Ma'idah 5:36) ^19 ^UJl 

and also, the Qur'anic verse concerning Sayyidina Isa 

If Thou punish them, lo, they liiil^lj j»" 

are Thy slaves, (Ibrahim 14:1 18) ' --r^- r**- 

A:° sJuUli) 

After reciting the two verses, the Prophet Hi remembered his 
followers and raising his hands in prayer said: "O Allah! My 
followers. My followers." He, also, wept during the suppliction. 
Allah commanded Jibreei Ml: Go to Muhammad {Though 
everything is known to your Lord} go to him and ask on Our 
behalf "Why he is crying?" Thus, Jibrcel came to the 
Prophet 0 and enquired. He told him what he had said to Allah 
[i.e., the reason of his weeping was the anxiety for his 
followers], [When Jirbeel reported back to Allah] He bade him, 
"Go to Muhammad and tell him, on Our behalf, that We shall 
make him happy in spite of his followers, and not make him 
dejected." (Muslim) 

Commentary: The import of the above saying is that the Prophet 
il recited two verses of the Qur'an, one from Surah Ibrahim, in 
which it is stated about Sayyidina Ibrahim Ml that he said to 
Allah about his followers, "Those among them who obeyed mc are 
mine and I pray to Thee for forgiveness for them, and those that 
disobeyed me-Thou art Forgiving, Merciful, i.e.. Thou can forgive 
them." and the other from surah Maidah: 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

in which it is stated about Sayyidina Isa StiB that he will pray 
to Allah for his erring and misguided followers: 

"If Thou punish them, they are Thy slaves and Thou hast every 
right to punish them, and if Thou forgive them, Thou art the 
Mighty [and can do anything] and the Wise [i.e., whatever 
Thout doest will not be without wisdom]." 

In both of these verses, two exalted Messengers of Allah have, 
pleaded on behalf of the wrongdoers among their followers with 
complete reverence and humility. 

On reciting the verses the sacred Prophet H was reminded of 
his own followers and he expressed his anxiety about them to Allah 
with hands raised in supplication and tears flowing from his eyes. 
He was, thereupon assured that the matter of his followers will be 
settled to his satisfaction and he will not have to be broken-hearted 
on their account. 

Every Prophet, or, rather, every leader has a speical affection 
for his followers in the same way as all of us possess a peculiar 
fondness for our children. It is, therefore, his natural wish that they 
obtain deliverance from Divine Chastisement. Since the sacred 
Prophet % was ahead of all other Prophets in this particular kind 
of compassion and attachment also, he was specially anxious about 
the salvation of his followers and used to pray frequently that they 
were not thrown into Hell and those of them whose sinfulness was 
such that they could not escape punishemnt might be taken out of it 
after undergoing the penalty of Fire for some time. 

From the Traditions belonging to the above category it is clear 
that Allah will fulfil the earnest desire of the Prophet $1 and a 
large number of Believers will be saved from the chastisement of 
Hell through his intercession or taken out of the infernal place after 
being cast into it. 

This Hadith in Muslim is a great solace for sinners like us. It is 
stated in some versions that the Prophet H said to Sayyidina 
Jirbeel on hearing the message, "I will be satisfied only when 
none of my followers (ummah) goes to Hell." Allah sent Sayyidina 
Jibreel to ask the reason for weeping only to slow respect to 
the Prophet 0 otherwise He knows everything. 

Book of Faith 


jX*j jLiii J_^»3 J 1 * J 1 * J> d 1 *** <S*0 >°) 

(115/115) It is related by Sayyidina Uthman ibn 'Affan that 
the Messenger of Allah said: "On the Day of Judgement 
three types of men will [particularly] intercede: the Prophets 
^Uis^jsr , the Ulama and the martyrs." (Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: It does not mean that no one aside of the three 
groups mentioned above will b able to plead on behalf of others on 
the Day of Requital but that a special intercession will be made by 
them. Some other pious and high-souled presons will also be 
permitted to intercede, and, as we have indicated earlier, even 
children who had died in their infancy will intercede for their 
parents and intercession by good actions will also take place. 

Cft h\ Jl* &*%\ JU & JJkj & {J 0*0 ^ n ) 
l~*a*li # AL^di <y pfrj p*U {j* ^ 

(116/116) It is related by Abu Sa'eed al-Khurdri that the 
Messenger of Allah m> said: "Among my followers there will be 
some who will intercede on behalf of nations and communities 
[i.e., their station will be so high that Allah will permit them to 
intercede on behalf of whole communities and their intercession 
will be accepted], and some who will intercede on behalf of 
groups of from ten to forty people and some who will intercede 
on behalf of one person [and Allah will accept the intercession 
of all of them] till everyone shall enter Paradise." (Tirmizi) 

JJbi uupj ^Lj dfi%\ *Sy*) J 1 * 0*0 ^ V/\ \ V) 

(1 17/1.17) It is reported by Sayyidina Anasj4$b that the 
Messenger of Allah HH said: "On the Judgement Day the poeple 
of Hell will be marshalled in a row [i.e., some sinful men among 


Meaning and Message of (he Traditions Part J 

Bel ievers who will be deserving of chastisement will stand in a 
row on some occasions on the Last Day]. A dweller of Paradise 
will pass by them and one of the men standing in the row will 
call out to him, saying, 'Do you not recognise me? l am the 
person who once gave you water [or in some other, wholesome 
beverage] to drink'. And another man stadning in the same row 
will say, 'I am the person who had [once] given you water to 
perform the Wudu. 1 Thus, the dweller of Paradise will intercede 
with Allah on behalf of those people and get them admitted to 
Heaven." (Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: The bond of affection with devout and virtuous 
men in the present world is going to avail a great deal in the 
Hereafter provided one is blessed with Faith. 

Heaven and Its Blessings 

Heaven and hell are among the realities of Futurity in which it 
is essential for a Muslim to believe. These are the ultimate and 
eternal dwelling places of mankind. In the Qur'an, Paradise, with 
its incomparable blissfulness, and Hell, with its dreadful 
chatisement have been dwelt upon so frequently and with such 
throughness that if all the verses relating to them are collected they 
alone will make a volume. 

Likewise, in the compilations of the Traditions hundreds of 
sayings of the Prophet 0 dealing with Heaven and hell are 
preserved from which an adequate idea of the two places can be 
obtained. The exact import of what is revealed in the Qur'an and 
the Traditions about Heaven and Hell will, however, be known 
only when we will reach there and see the whole thing for 
ourselves. What to speak of Paradise, it is an everyday experience 
that the image formed in our minds after hearing or reading about a 
beautiful city is much incomplete of what it actually is. In any 
event, the account of Heavens and Hell contained in the Qur'an and 
the Traditions should be read in the light of this elementary 

The aim of the Qur'anic verses and the sayings of the Prophet 

mt is far from delineating the topography of Heaven and Hell or 

giving a detailed picture of what is to be experienced there. Rather 
i. Ablution 

Book of Faith 


to produce a fear of Hell, and its punishment so that men may 
abstain from vices that lead them to it and to arouse a love and 
eagerness for Paradise and its boons and comfort. Men may be 
induced thereby to practise virtue and perform good deeds to make 
them worthy of admission to it. The verses and Traditions of the 
above category, therefore, demand that feelings of dread and 
desire, as the case be may be produced as a result of reading or 
listening to them. 

%\ J15 faj 4*%\ JU> J^j ^ >( U A/ \ \ A) 

(118/118) It is related by Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah 4& that the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "Allah says '1 have prepared for My 
Faithful slaves that which no eye has seen nor ear heard nor the 
thought of which has even crossed their mind.' And, if you like 
you may read the verse: 

No soul knoweth what 'is kept hid for them of joy, as reward for 
what they used to do." [A!-Sajadah32:l7] (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: This is a Hadith Qudsi or a celestial Tradition. If 
the Prophet H says something with the explicit remark that it is 
stated by Allah [and it is not found in the Qur'an] then such a 
Tradition is called a Hadith Qudsi or a celestial Tradition. A 
general aspect of the glad tidings for truthful bondsmen is that in 
the Hereafter they will be favoured with boons and blessings which 
no man has experienced or even imagined in the existing world. 
The other special aspect lies in the words: 1 have prepared for My 
faithful bondsmen that " 

(119/119) Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah 4& related that the 
Messenger of Allah S said: "A sweeping-place in Paradise is 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

better than the world and all that it contains." 1 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: In ancient Arabia the custom was that when a 
caravan of riders made a halt, each rider would throw some rubbish 
at the place where he intended to put up. It was, then, considered, 
to have been reserved for him. The word "sweepings-place" in this 
Tradition, thus, denotes the small place which was set aside for the 
traveller who threw the waste-matter over it. That little place in 
Paradise is more valuable than the whole world. 

(120/120) It is related by Sayyidina Anas ^ that the Messenger 
of Allah 0 said: "To set out in the path of Allah, once in the 
morning or in the evening, is better than the world and all that it 
contains, and if a bride from among the brides of the dwellers of 
Paradise cast a glance at the world, the whole space intervening 
between the two [i.e., from the Heaven to the earth] will be 
filled with light and fragrance, and the covering of her head is 
better than the world and all that is contained therein." (Bukhari) 

Commentary: In the opening part of this Traditin the virtue of 
setting out in the way of Allah [i.e., undertaking a journey in the 
service of Faith] has been refered to and we are told that to do so 
once in the mroning or in the evening is better than the entire 
universe. The specification of the morning and the eveining, here, 
is probably, due to the fact that, in the older times, people 
habitually started on a journey during those parts of the day 
otherwise if a person left his home at any other time for a religious 
prupose it will possess the same merit. 

In the later part, the wondrous beauty of the celestial brides of 
the dwellers of Paradise and the worth and value of their apparel 
have been mentioned, possibly with a view to encourage people to 

O. The 'words kj~> £~?y> have been translated "place of a lash", of a 

whip" by Bukhari (Dr Muhsin) and Mishkat (Robson). 

Book of Faith 


set off from their homes in the service of Faith by telling them if 
they will leave their homes and their wives for some time with the 
object of serving the cause of Allah, they will be rewarded forever 
and in Heaven with spouses of such rare charm and elegance that if 
they glanced towards the earth the entire atmosphere would be 
filled with radiance and sweet scent. And their dress was so very 
costly that the headgear alone was more valuable than the whole of 
the world. 

^ O&j \#e& VflP iiu t$fe J> C£/J\ ly^ h*xi\ 

(121/121) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger 
of Allah isH said: "In Heaven there is a tree [which is so large 
that] if a horseman rides under its shade even for a hunderd 
years he will not be able to pass from one side of it to the other, 
and the space of anyone of you in Heaven, even of the length of 
a bow, is better than the world on which the sun rises or sets." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: The object of this Tradition is to produce in the 
hearts an earnest yearning for Paradise by stressing the superiority 
of celestial joys and comforts over those of the world. The first 
thing is about the wonderful trees of Heaven. It says that their 
shade is so extensive that a horseman can not cross it in a hundred 
years. It, then, asures that a bow-length of space in Paradise is 
more value than the world and all that there is in it. We have 
referred earlier to the Arab custom of throwing rubbish over the 
place by the rider where he wanted to stay as a mark of reservation. 
In the same way, when a person travelling on foot wanted to make 
m& halt at some place he used to put his bow at it. A bow-length of 
space in the above Tradition, thus, signifies that even the smallest 
place in Heaven is more precious than the entire universe. 

ojk^j djfcyei ^3 63^1 ^3 dj^H ^3 6»^3 ^ <S3^ 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

i-X^-Jl ^>'J> £ ^ 'jl^ 

(122/122) It is related by Sayyidina Jabir ^ that the Messenger 
of Allah HI said: "The dwellers of Paradise will eat and drink in 
Heaven but neither a secretion will be formed in their mouths 
and nostrils nor will they have to empty their bowels or 
bladders. Some of the Companins asked, "What will, then, 
happen to the food [taken by them]?' The Prophet iH replied, 'It 
will be passed out by means of eructation and perspiration 
which will be smelling like musk, and on the tongues of the 
dwellers of Heaven the praise of Allah will go on, by His 
Command [effortlessly], [and] in the same way as your 
respiration goes on [without an effort]." (Muslim) 

Commentary: The foods and drinks of Heaven will be free from 
all bulk-forming properties. They will be so pure and empyreal that 
no effete matter will be formed by them in the bowels. The 
stomach will become empty after a light eructation and the other 
waste-matter will be eliminated through perspiration which will be 
as sweet-scented as musk. Moreover, just as in this world we 
breath in and out without an effort, in Paradise the remembrance of 
Allah will be carried out unconsciously and words of praise to the 
Almighty like Subhan Allah wa Al-hamdulillah and Subhan Allah 
wa Behamdihi will be on the lips of everyone all the time. 

-uAp 'ill J^p 4J1 J^»j o> W ^jlj ^ J*0 IT/ ^ YT) 

i ji ^ij ijuii y *. i . * +s*te \ j^aj (ji ji iLw lssLj jia jl>j 

IJ**3 \ yjcJtf ^ jlj \Ju\ I y jtfyA \ Ob W 1 jSj* 3 ^ 

(123/123) Abu Sa'eed 4k> and Abu Hurayrah 4k related that the 
Messenger of Allah all said: "As the dwellers will enter 
Paradise a heavenly herald will proclaim: Here good health is 
your right and good health has been ordained for you; so, now 
you will never fall ill. Here life has been decreed for you; so, - 
now you will never die. Here only youth is your lot; so, now you 
will never grow old. Here only happiness has been bestowed 

Book of Faith 


upon you; so, now neither pain nor sorrow will afflict you." 


Commentary: Heaven is the home of cloudless bliss and eternal 
felicity. There will not be the faintest trace of suffering in it, 
neither sickness, nor death, nor old age, nor any other type of 
affliction, worry or anxiety. As soon as the dwellers will enter 
Heaven they will be made comfortable with the tidings of 
imperishable life and everlasting happiness. 

ja JlS V^jL-Jl Q>- \X* ill Sj^j JlS i'Jijk ij, \\ 1/ \ y l) 

l^%>3 -ua3 jj> j? I* {.ij u a^ji Lis f.UJi 

(124/124) Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah ^ has narrated that he 
enquired from the Prophet Hi, "From what have the living 
things been created?" "From water", replied the Prophet Hi. 
Abu Hurayrah then, asked, "Of what is Paradise made [i.e., 
is it built with bricks, stones or what]?" The Prophet ill replied, 
"It has been built in such a way that one brick is of gold and the 
other of silver, and the binding material is of sweet-scented 
musk, the gravel spraed over it is of pearls and ruibies, and its 
dust is, as you would say, saffron. Those who enter it will live 
in never-ending peace and happiness. No distress will ever 
touch them, and they will live forever-death will not come to 
them in Heaven-, and their clothes will never become dirty and 
worn-out, nor will their youth wither away [at any time or in any 
degree]." (Musnad Ahmad and Tirmizi) 

Commentary: It shows that all living beings have been created 
from water. Allah first made water, and, then, from it, He made all 
the other creatures. In the Qur'an, too, it is stated: 

Allah hath created evey animal >* ^ -„\\ - 

of water (Al-Nur 24:45) . & .* \T V 

(i*:U jjdl) 

We made every living thing of 'it &}\ 

water (Al-Anbiyaa2 1 :30) _ ' 

222 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

The reality of. what the Prophet $H has said about the structure 
of Paradise, its walls and floors, will become evident to us only 
when we shall see it. The basic things is that Heaven has not been 
constructed the way buildings are in our world. It has been built 
solely at the bidding of Allah and without the aid of masons and 
architects exactly as the heavens and the earth and the sun, the 
moon and the stars have got created directly in response to His 

But His command, when He vi* £ 

intendeth a thing, is only that " " 

He saith unto it: Be! an it is. (AY:Vi "o<Sj>^j^4J 

(Yasin 36:82) 

Eternal Good Pleasure of the Lord 

3^; jJ^j £3 <J£3 o&iQ j*i ii &Ji' J*X Jj* Ju5 

(125/125) It is related by Sayyidina Abu Sa'eed that the 
Messenger of Allah said: "[When the dwellers of Paradise 
will have reached there and its superlative boons will have been 
conferred upon them] Allah will speak to them. 'O dwellers of 
Heaven!' He will say. 'Our Lord', they will reply, 'We are here! 
We are here in Thy sublime presence, and all that is good 
belongeth to Thee [i.e., Thou can grant to anyone what Thou 
want to grant and withhold from anyone what Thou want to 
withhold]!' He will ask, 'Are you happy [i.e., Are you pleased 
with what you have been given here]?' The blessed ones will 
reply, 'Why should we not be pleased when Thou hast granted to 
us things Thou never had granted to any of Thy creatures.' Allah 
will!, then, enquire, 'May We bestow upon you something which 
is even superior to those joys?' 'O Lord', the bondsmen will 
submit, 'What is there which is superior to these blessings?'. 
Allah will say, "We bestow upon you Our eternal good pleaure. 

Book of Faith 


Now We shall never be displesed with you". 

Commentary: For the Benevolent One to enquire from the 
bondsmen, after He had granted them Paradise and its matchless 
comforts, whether they were happy and contented is an act of 
unbounded graciousness in itself, with it, the gift of everlasting 
good pleasure, literally, defies every exprssion of gratitude. Were a 
fraction of that happiness to be revealed to us in the present world, 
we would no longer wish for any earthy plesure. Surely, the 
pleasure of allah is superior to Paradise and its blessings. 

The Seeing of Allah in Heaven 

The greatest favour to be conferred on the dwellers of Paradise 


is the seeing of Allah, and everyone endowed with a refined 
awareness will, undoubtedly, find the longing for it embedded in 
his heart. It is but natural for the bondsman who is enjoying 
countless blessings of Allah in this world and will be rewarded in 
Heaven with immeasurably greater boons to feel an earnest desire 
to see the Benificient and the Merciful Lord Who created him and 
was showering on him His exquisite gifts. A feeling of incompele 
pleasure will perist in him if he is never blessed with the spectacle 
of the Almighty Who will, indeed, not deprive him of that pleasure. 

The Qur'an has given to the Faithful the Tidings of this unique 
favour and the holy Prophet lH, too, has mentioned it and all the 
Muslims have believed in it implicitly. Some people, however, who 
are given to imagine about the Hereafter on the basis of what they 
see in the world around them and regard the limited knowledge 
vouchsafed to them here to be the last word in that direction 
repudiate the possibility of it on the ground that it does not stand to 
reason. They argue that only a thing that exists in a material form 
and has colour or surface can be seen by the human eye, and that, 
too, when it is placed in front of the viewer and within a certain 
distance. Since Allah has neither form nor substance, nor is He 
contained- in space and time, the question of seeing Him does not 

(And the pleasure of Allah is 
the Greatest). More than that is 
the vision of Allah. 

(Al-Tawbah, 9:72) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

arise. But this like of reasoning, obstensibly, is insane and silly. 
Had the conviciton of the Believers been that Allah will be seen 
with these very eyes [of the present world] which can observe only 
material objects and things having colour or dimension, the 
viewpoint of dissenters could have some validity. But neither the 
Qur'an nor the Traditions say so, nor is it the creed of the faithful 

The people of the Sunnah and of the way of the Companions 

functioning as a body [Ahl Sunnah wal Jatna'at] who, in 
adherence to the precepts of the Qur'an and the Traditions, believe 
that the bondsmen whorthy of the magnificient favour will see 
Allah in Heaven also take it for granted that He will bless the 
dwellers of Paradise with power and faculities that the vision that 
will be granted to them will not be as weak and limited as that of 
our eyes in the present existence an it is with these eyes that the 
fortunate bondsmen will see Allah who pssesses neither form nor 
colour nor dimension. 

If the skeptics are still doubtful about the seeing of Allah, on 
account of its logical infeasibility, they should pause and ponder 
whether He sees His creatures or not. In case perception was 
possible only with the means and under the circumstances that 
were peculiar to us, He must, of necessity, be incapable of seeing 
anythng for He had neither eyes nor were the creatures placed in a 
particular position in respect of Him. Thus, those who believe that 
God sees without eyes and in all directions at the same time, and 
even things we can not perceive by the eye in any case and by any 
means, ought to have no misgivings. Relying to the utmost on the 
tidings contained in the Qur'an and the Traditions, they should 
asume that the Almighty will, by His Power and Benevolence, 
grant them eyes in the Hereafter which will enable them to take joy 
in the marvellous spectacle of His Own Adored Self. 

In the Qur'an the truthful Believers have been given the 
cheerful assurance that: • 

Some faces that Day will beam i- . ,f , *> > > 

[in brightness and-beauty ' °' ' ' 

looking towards their Lord. 

(Al-Qiyamah 75:22-23) 

(Yr<YY:Yo 4^1) 

Book of Faith 


As agaisnt it, the deniers of Truth have been warned: 
Nay, but surely on that Day 

they will be covered from their ^ j^A^i tiiiji p& j j& 
Lord [and prevented from ^ o:Kf Jt a^j^ 
seeing Him.] (Al-Mutaffifin 15) 

The Ahadith on the vision of Allah are many and we present a 
few of them. A Believer should be convinced with them. 

J*' fa (i-j 4* & ^ a* v**"* <S*0 ^ n ) 
Ja£j ^'i f p^<3' ^ J 1 ^ ^' 3*^' 
ji SYJ 3 ^ v**^' £^ J 1 * f j^' (S; ^*3 fis u»)jrj 

(126/126) It is related by Shuaib Rumi that the Prophet 0 said: 
"When the dwellers have arrived at heaven Allah will enquire 
from them thus, 'Do you want that We may grant one more 
favour to you [i.e., bestow upon you a blessing in addtion to 
what you have already received]?' The bondsmen will answer, 
'Thou hast illumined our faces [i.e., made us successful and 
given us beauty and dignity], and .saved us from Hell and 
granted us Paradise. [What more can we want]? The veil will 
then be lifted [i.e., the scales will fall from the bondsmen's eyes] 
and they will be able to see Allah unhindered. Thus, their state 
will be [and they will feel] that the seeing of Allah has 
surpassed all other favours that had been conferred on them till 

For those who do good in the [best] place [i.e., Heaven] and 
more thereto [i.e., the seeing of God]." (Yunus 1 0:27) (Muslim) 

Commentary: The falling of scales from the eyes, in the above 
Traidtion, means that the dwellers of Paradise will, all of a sudden 
be endowed with a vision that will enable them to see the Lord. 

%\ jUibl J^3 % ^'M t& Jli,& 4^ J> y.yr YY/\ Y Y) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Pari J 

■>3>- ur ^3 53^ j^Sj jta jjdi art ^iiii 3O ^3 4* 
ji 5^ J* ijjw ^£^.1 dlf f» ii a aA» * ^ & 
jj j£3 ^ gij 135 jtf , tjtiii ^3> JJ3 ^jOJLn ^ 

(pi— jrfjwjuijj) .^jy > j33 tr aJi^jli? 

(127/127) Jarir bin Abdullah 4^> narrated, One night we were 
sitting with the Prophet iH [when he chanced to] look at the 
moon. It was the fourteenth night of th month [and the full 
moon was shining in the sky]. He, turned towards us and said, 
'Surely, you will see the Lord as you are seeing the moon. You 
will have to make on special effort to see Him, nor will there be 
any other difficulty. So, if you can do this that you allow 
nothing to prevail over the Salah (Prayers) before the rising and 
the setting of the sun [i.e., no occupation, entertainment or 
lethargy could divert your attention at the time of these prayers], 
you must do so. [Insha Allah, yu will, then certainly, be blessed 
with the seeing of Allah]. The Prophet 0 recited this verse 
from the Qur'an: 

And celebrate the praises of thy Lord ere the rising and the 
setting of sun." (Taha20:130) (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: When a large number of persons collect with the 
object of seeing a beautiful thing and everyone is anxious to catch 
a glimpse of it there, generally, takes place a rough struggle among 
them and it becomes very difficult to see it properly but with the 
moon the position is that millions of people can see it at the same 
time, calmly and without any trouble. The Prophet iH had made 
use of this everyday experience to show how countless bondsmen 
will be able to see Allah in Heaven without the least difficulty. 

In the end the Prophet ill has drawn attention to an act which is 
particularly efficacious in making the bondsman worthy of the 
unique favour, i.e., heedfulness for the Fajr and Asr prayers to the 
extent that no activity or diversion could ever come in the way. 

Though five obligatory prayers are prescribed to the Believers, 
it is evident from the Qur'an and the Sunnah that the Fajr and Asr 
prayer possess a special significance. 

Book of Faith 


> ji^ > 4* J* ^ *j ^ j^ir 

(128/128) Abu Razeen Uqaili has narrated that one day he said 
to the Prophet Hi, "O Messenger of Allah! Will everyone of us 
see the Lord singly [i.e., without a rush] on the Last Day?" 
"Yes," the Prophet m replied. "He will". 'Uqaili, asked, "Is 
there a sign or likeness of it [in this world] too ?" The Prophet 
il said, "O Abu Razeen! Does everyone of you not see the 
moon on the fourteenth night of each month, wherever he is, by 
himself and without a tissue?" "Of course," replied Uqaili. "We 
all so see the moon like that." The Prophet 0 remarked, "It [the 
moon] is an ordinary creature among the cratures of the Lord 
while the Lord is Most High, the Majestic." (Abu Dawood) 

"O Allah! We beseech You for j, ^ & Jgj JjJ fa 
the pleasure of Your sight and ■ ,*„■>,,. 

the happiness of meeting you." 

Hell And Its Chastisement 

Just as from the Qur'an and the Traditions we know about 
Heaven that there are joys and comforts in it with which not even 
the foremost pleasures of the world are worthy of comparison, 
about Hell, too, we learn that its tortures are so terrible that the 
greatest sorrows and sufferings of the earthyly existence bear no 
resemblance to them. 

In fact, the image that is formed in our minds of the boons and 
blessings of Paradise or of the pain and punishment of Hell is most 
imperfect for the simple reason that all the words in our vocabulary 
have been coined simply for the things and experiences of the 
present world. Thus, when we say 'grape' or 'apple' our mind turns 
only to the grapes or apples we see or eate here. But how can we, 
from it, form an idea of the state and quality of the grapes or apples 
of Paradise which will be a thousand times more evolved than what 
we find on earth and have not seen as much as a sample of them in 
our lives. In the same way, from the words 'snake* and 'scorpion' we 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

can only think of the snakes and scorpions of this world and not of 
Hell which will be immeasurably larger and more poisonous and of 
which we have not seen even a picture in this life. 

In any event, it is just not possible to understand fully the state 
of things in Heaven and Hell in the present existence. It will be 
known only in the Hereafter that what we had heard or read about 
the supreme happiness of Heaven or the extreme pain and anguish 
of Hell was a most imperfect account of them. 

Moreover, as we have said earlier, the description of Heaven 
and Hell contained in the Qur'an and the Traditions is not, at all, 
intended to import to us, in this world, the knowledge of what is 
going to happen in those places so that a complete picture of 
Paradise and Hell could emerge before our minds' eye. Its real 
object is that of Tabsheer [Glad Tidings] and Anzar [Warnng] i.e., 
to persuade the bondsmen to tread the path of virtue and lead a life 
that was likely to take them to Heaven by producing in them an 
overpowering desire for Paradise and an anxious fear of Hell, and, 
for it, what has been revealed in the Qur'an and the Traditions in 
more than enough. 

Now, to take up the Traditions. 

#u jil p> JU> # 5^ $ ^ ( m/m) 

(129/129) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger 
of Allah 0 said: "The fire of this world of yours is the 
seventieth part of the Fire of Hell." He was asked, "O 
Messenger of Allah 0! Was the fire of the world not enough?" 
The Prophet S replied, "The Fire of Hell has been increased by 
sixtynine degrees as compared with the fire of this world and 
the heat of each degree is equal to the heat of the fire on earth." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 
Commentary: The temperature of various kinds of fire in the 
present world differs from each other, as for instance, the fire of 
wood possesses greater heat than the fire of straw, and the fire of 
coal possesses greater heat than the fire of wood. It has now 

Book of Faith 


become possible to measure the degrees of heat of the different 
types of fire, and, as such, it should not be difficult to realise the 
significance of this saying of the Prophet. 

As we had the occasion to point out earlier, in the Arabic 
language the figure of seventy is often used, in such circumstances, 
to emphasise the excess or profusion of a thing. In this Tradition, 
too, it may have been mentioned in the same sense. In that case, the 
Tradition would mean that the Fire of Hell was much more fierce 
than the fire of this world. Allah knows best. 

It, further, tells that when the Prohet gave this description of 
the Fire of Hell, he was asked, "O Messenger of Allah ill! Was the 
world's fire not enough?" To it, he gave no other reply than to 
repeat, a little more candidly, what he had said earlier. Perhaps, he 
wanted to warn against asking such questions about the will and 
judgmenet of Allah; whatever he does is the right thing. Our 
endeavour should entirely be to do all we can to save ourselves 
from the Fire of Hell. 

.tjlJU ^gj yb Si Ai\j Clip La H\ Sl*A l>\ ij'Ji U J^-^J* ^A*4 

(130/130) It is related by Nu'man ibn Basheer that the 
Messenger of Allah iH said: "The mildest punishment to be 
inflicted on a person in Hell is that he will be made to wear a 
pair of sandals made of fire which will be so hot as hot as to set 
his brain boiling as if something was cooking in a pot on a 
stove. He will not imagine that anyone was undergoing a more 
severe punishment [i.e., he will consider himself to be receiving 
the hardest punishment], though his punishment will, in truth, 
be the mildest in Hell." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

fft, JjjJ 4*%\ JU>t J>ij Jtf Jii &\r\hr \> 


Meaning and Message of (he Traditions Part I 

* * /"* * * if ^ * * ** ' J*' * 3 *" .» i ^ c i ^ 

y> U U iiilj ^ Jj£>i VJa5 OJLi Jj&j Jai Lojj cJij J* 

(131/131) Anas ^ related to us that on the Day of Judgement a 
person will be brought from among the dwellers of Hell [i.e., 
from among those who will be destined to end up in Hell owing 
to their apostasy and polytheism or lewdness and depavityj who 
will have lived in greatest pomp and luxury in the world. He 
will be dipped once in the Fire of Hell [and, then, taken out of it 
immediately] and asked, "O Son of Aadam! Have you ever 
known comfort?' "No, Our Lord!" he will reply. "I swear by Thy 
Name that I have never known what comfort is." Afterwards, a 
person will be brought from among the dwellers of Paradise [i.e, 
from among them whom will be deserving of Paradise owing to 
their piety and devoutness] who will have led a life of utter pain 
and misery on earth. He will be dipped once in Heaven [i.e.. he 
will be taken to Heaven and, then, led out of it immediately] and 
asked, "O Son of Aadam! Have you ever known misery?" "No, 
Our Lord!" he will reply. "I swear by Thy Name that I have 
never known what pain or misery is." (Muslim) 

Commentary: The chastisement of Hell is so severe that a 
moment of it will make one forget the joys and comforts of a 
lifetime and the blisfulness of Paradise is so wonderful that a 
moment of it will make one forget the pain and suffering of the 
whole duration of one's life. 

^ Jia (*JL.j Up 4)i JU> ^\ j» t-jjLur oj*~> jf>(\ r y/ \ r Y) 

(132/132) It is related by Samura ibn Jundub that the Messenger 
of Allah said: "Among the people of Hell there will be some 
whom fire will seize up to the ankels, and there will be some 
whom fire will seize up to the thighs, and there will be some 
whom fire will seize up to the waist, and there will be some 
whom fire will seize up to the breast-bone." (Muslim) 

Book of Faith 


Commentary: It shows that the state of everyone will not be the 
same in Hell. Punishment will vary according to one's sins and 
transgressions. O Allah protect us! 

%\ JU> At J^3 Jfl Jii ^ ^ ( ^ r r/ ^ r r ) 

JbrJ aidii ji lJ£l ^il- cJ4' 9^ A J/dfa4* 
£JS air Jdi jutfi j^tf jun j Sl3 ^> 

(133/133) It is reported by Sayyidina Abdullah ibn al-Harith ibn 
Jazz that the Prophet iH said: "There are snakes in Hell as big 
bodied as Bakht camels (which are bigger than normal camels). 
They are so poisonous that if one of them were to sting a 
dweller of Hell once then he would find the effect of poison for 
forty years (and be restless). There are scorpions in Hell who 
resemble saddled mules in their built. If one of them were to 
sting a dweller of Hell once then he will suffer pain from it for 
forty years. (Musnad Ahmad) 

(134/134) It is related by Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri that the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "Ghassaq [i.e., the stinking pus 
that will come out from the wounds of the people of hell and 
about which it is said in the Qur'an that it shall be their food at 
the time of intense hunger] is such that if a bucket of it was 
thrown into the world, the whole world would be filled with its 
stench." (Tirmizi) 

(135/135) Abdullah ibn Abbas 4& narrated that [once] the 
Prophet lH recited the verse : 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

[O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die 
not except in a state of Islam,] 

[and in connection with the fear of Allah and His chastisement], 
he observed, "If a drop of Zaqqum [the infernal tree, mentioned 
in the Qur'an, the fruit of which those doomed to the eternal 
punishment of Hell shall eat] were to fall on the earth, it would 
be enough to pollute all the articles of food and drink found 
here. Now, imagine what will the condition be of those who 
shall eat it." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: Zaqoom is so detestable and poisonous that if one 
drop were to fall on the earth then everything here would get its 
filth, bad-odour and poison. All our food will become rotten. What 
then of those who have to eat it! 

r^r- 5 i ^ 15 s *- Jt nj^i j^ 1 J* 1 ai» 1 1 p & 

^ jl*3i ^ jte friiiJi Ji-^ ^JyM\ gate JjtJL^t^ilS' ji^Aj^-j 

(136/136) It is reported by Sayyidina Anas ^ that the 
Messenger of Allah ^ said: (in a sermon): O People! Weep 
much (fearing Allah and the punishment). If you cannot do that 
(weeping) then remember (the wrath of Allah and His 
punishment) and force the weeping condition on yourself 
making out as if you weep, for the denizens of hell will weep in 
Hell to such an extent that their tears will flow as if they were 
rivers till they are exhausted. Then blood will flow (instead of 
tears) causing wounds in the eyes (and the wounds will shed 
more blood and the blood and tears together will be so much 
that) boats may' sail in them very well. (Sharah as Sunnah) 

Commentary: There will be tremendous chastisement in Hell and 
eyes will exhaust tears and shed blood. This will wound the eyes. 
To prevent this from happening, we must grow fear of Allah and 
weep. A Hadith tells us: J> iyo ^ jUi jjJJ i 

(He who weeps for fear of Allah will never go to Hell). 1 To weep 

1 . Tirmizi, Nasa'i as narrated by Abu Hurayrah <uc- <UJl ^ j. 

Book of Faith 


for fear of Allah or make, as though one weeps is to attract the 
mercy of Allah and protect oneself from Hell. 


(137/137) Nu'man ibn Basheer ^ related "1 heard the 
Messenger of Allah S say [in one of his sermons], 'I have given 
you the warning of the Fire of Hell. 1 have admonished you 
against the chastisement of Hell." He said the same thing over 
and over again. He was saying it so loudly that had he been 
standing where I am now, his voice would have been heard by 
the people in the market, and [at that time he was lost in his 
thoughts so completely] that the blanket he was wearing round 
his shoulders dropped [on the ground] near his feet." (Daarami) 
Commentary: Sometimes the Prophet 0 was lost in a condition 
which the Companions <&> tried to describe when the narrating the 
Ahadith. So, Sayyidina Nu'man ibn Basheer & tried to do the 
same thing. The Prophet 0 wished to worn people of Hell and he 
himself was deaply moved by that. 

An Important Warning In 
Respect Heaven And Hell 

(138/138) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4& that the Messenger 
of Allah 0 said: "Hell has been surrounded with ease and 
luxuriousness, and Heaven has been surrounded with toil and 
suffering." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: Generally, sins, i.e., deeds that are to be expected to 
lead one to Hell are a source of sensous enjoyment, while duties 
i.e., deeds that make one deserving of admission to Paradise come 
hard on the flesh. Thus, the ultimate destination of the bondsman 
who will yield to his inordinate appetites and perform evil deeds 
shall be in Hell while the bondsman who will observe the 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

commands of Allah and remain faithful to Him shall make his 
abode in Heaven. 

'Al li-l u Jh 3 i^Ji ^! 4** M StJM J 1 * 

^ t$L*0 VI l£ V <-&>?j 4*5 £lat- ^ 

$ i$ >j «4JbII jis 101 >iii 4JiSi jg^J jts ft tj&lb \& 

JjL^ llAS JlS I?-t l$U JU *il l)\ JLii >— 4*J ^} c <3^ ^ 

Jlis frUr li lf5i jJiii Ci>Jii J 1 * ^! 4**^! J=i>*" ^ j^ 1 ^ 
\j JlS p ol}$JJb l$J>.CS ai-i I^j ^i-lj ^ «- H^J « 

' J 1 ** C***** JlS l$JI yailS 

(^il-Jl j a Jla ^ij jJi at jj ) . l$J>i V} *J/ C-li> ^ 

(139/139) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4s> that the Prophet S 
said: "When Allah created Heaven, He told Jibreel go and see it 
[as to how He had made Paradise with its astounding boons and 
comforts]. Jibreel thus, went and saw Heaven and the wonderful 
things Allah had provided in it. On return, he exclaimed, 'O 
Lord! By Thy Glory and Thy Magnificence, [Thou hast made 
Heaven so beautiful and got ready such blessings in it that I am 
sure that] anyone who hears about it will attain it [i.e., he will be 
fired with the desire to live there permanently and will gain his 
objective by performing the good deeds that are needed to go to 
Heaven and avoiding the evil things]' Allah, then; surrounded 
Heaven with toil and hardship [i.e., He enclosed it on all sides 
with the injunctions of the Shari'ah to observe which calls for a 
great deal of self-denial and earnest endeavour], and, once 
again, told Jibreel to go and see Heaven [with the new 
barricade built around it]. So, once more, he went and saw 
Paradise, and, on his return, he exclaimed, 'Our Lord! By the 
Glory and Thy Magnificance, now I fear that no one will be able 
to attain it [i.e., the condition of the observance of the laws of 
the Shari'ah Thou hast prescribed is so very hard that, perhaps, 
no one will be in a position to fulfil it] 1 . Again, when Allah 
created Hell, He told Jibreel to go and see it [and the 
various forms of punishments He had put together there]. Thus, 

Book of Faith 


he went and saw it, and, on coming back, he said, 'O Lord! By 
Thy Glory and Thy Magnificence, [Thou hast made Hell such 
an infernal place that] whoever hears about it will never enter it 
[i, e., he will strictly refrain from acts that are likely to take him 
to Hell. Allah then, surrounded Hell with material comforts and 
bodily enjoyment and told Jibreel again, to go and see it. 
So, once more, he went and saw Hell [and the ring of sensual 
pleasures that had been put round it]. On return, he exclaimed, 
'O Lord! By Thy Glory and Thy Magnificence, now 1 fear that 
everyone will make his hcTme in it [i*e., the pleasure with which 
Thou hast encompassed Hell hold such an attraction for man, 
with all his animal desires and propensities, that, perhaps, 
everyone will yield to them and end up in the bottomless pit]." 

(Tirmizi, Abu Dawood and Nasa'i) 

Commentary: The special lesson the above Tradition carries is 
that the sequel of gratifying one's inclinations and desires [which, 
apparently, is so pleasing] is the fearful chastisement of Hell, a 
moment of which will make one forget the joys and comforts of a 
lifetime, while the end of a life, of loyalty and submission to 
Divine injunctions [which seems so hard and cheerless to our 
carnal selves] is Paradise, the home of perfect felicity and eternal 

Messenger of Allah said: "I have not seen a fearful calamity 
like Hell that the one running away from it may have fallen 
asleep, and 1 have not seen an attractive thing like Heaven that 

Commentary: It is natural for man that when he runs to save his 
life from an evil thing like a ferocious beast or a pursuing enemy, 
he keeps running and does not think of rest or sleep till he has 
attained safety. Similarly, when a person strives as eagerly for a 
desirable object he forgets about rest and sleep till he has 
succeeded in his aim. But towards Heaven and Hell our attitude is 
hard to explain. There is no more alluring thing than Heaven, but 


the one desiring it may have slept. 


236 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I 

instead of trying our outmost to attain it, we are inclined to be 
negligent while there is no more detestable thing than Hell yet 
those who should be feeling from it are fast asleep. 



In the Name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful 

In the compilations of the sayings of the Prophet $| just as 
there occur titles like Kilab-ul-Iman [The book of Faith], Kitabus 
salah [The Book of Prayer], Kitabuz Zakah [The Book of Poor 
Due], Kitabun Nikah [The Book of Marriage], and Kitabul Bai 
[The Book of Buying and Selling], under which the Traditions 
appertaining to these subjects are arranged, so also do we find a 
subject-heading called, Kitabur Riqaq [The Book of 
Soft-Heartedness], which includes the sayings that possess the 
quality of melting the hearts, relaxing the hold of wordly 
attachments, promoting the solicitude for the Hereafter and 
arousing those who read or listen to them to make the seeking of 
the countenance of the Lord and the felicity of Hereafter the high 
aim and purpose of their lives. Besides, the uplifting and 
heart-warming sermons and exhortations of the sacred Prophet iH, 
too, are collected together under this heading. 

In the entire collection of the sayings of the Prophet H, the 
most effective and capable of changing the whole course of life is 
the part that is known commonly as Kitabur Riqaq. Its importance, 
in many ways, is singular. It can be said to form the basis of true 
Islamic Ta sawwuf [Mysticism]. 

We begin the present part of our sludly with the Traditions 
through which the Prophet % has sought to instil the fear of Allah 
and earnest anxiety for the Hereafter or stressed their instrinsic 
worth and significance in any other way. 

May Allah cause some of the effects of these sayings, that 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

moulded the hearts of those who first listened to them, to mould 
our hearts too. Ameen! 

Fear of Allah and Anxiety for The Hereafter 

After belief, the fear of Allah and anxiety for the Hereafter play 
the most vital role in the improvement of the moral and spiritual 
quality of life and its evolution to the stage of salvation. The 
Prophet A, therefore, made a special effort to produce and develop 
the two attributes among his followers. Sometimes, he spoke of the 
advantages flowing out of fear and anxiety, and, sometimes, of the 
Omnipotence of Allah, of His Anger, and of such dreadful 
happenings of the Last Day the thought of which tended to 
promote these sentiments. The Tradition related by the well-known 
Companion Khanzalah Ibn-al-Rabi', which we are going to discuss 
a few pages later, shows that it formed, as if one would say, the 
main subject of conversation in the company of the Prophet W° 
when the Companions cjfe, sat with him and listened to this remarks 
and revelations about the Day of Final Judgement and Heaven and 
Hell, they felt as if they were actually seeing them. 

If the Invisible World Was Made Known to Us 

(141/1) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4^> that the Messsenger of 
Allah W> said: "By Him Who has my life in His Hands, if you 
knew what is known to me [about the Anger of the Lord and the 
terrible events of the Last Day and the Hereafter] you would 
laugh less and weep more." (Bukhari) 

Commentary: If all that was revealed to the Prophet iH about the 
Lord's supreme indifference to everything, and His Anger and 
Almightiness and frightful happenings of the Last Day and Futurity 
came fully to our knowledge and our eyes could see what was 
visible to him and ears could hear what was audible to him, our 
peace of mind would be destroyed so completely that we would 
grieve much and rejoice little. 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


aAi> ^-jij ^^3 6^ ^ *U-lJi cJ?< ^jjU-Ij^u £*-^3 63y 

jj 'Jfa\j «dJ Ui^U^i Aa^- £-£'3 *— C-^' 

>uju ; ^ijuu u3 r^r j&fii 3 ^15 ^£*jj u 63^i3 

. , \ : > f t > - 

(142/2) It is related by Abu Zarr Ghifari ^ that the Messenger 
of Allah lH said: "I see the things of the invisible world you do 
not see and hear the sounds [ of the invisible world] you do not 
hear. The sky is shaking and it is appropriate that it shakes. By 
the Glorious One is whose power is my life! There is not even a 
space of four fingers in the heavens where an angel is not 
prostrating himself before the Almighty, with his forehead 
touching the ground. If you knew the things that are known to 
me, you would laugh little and weep much, and could not enjoy 
the bed with your spouses, and would go out into forests and 
deserts groaning and crying out to the Lord". [After relating it} 
Abu Zarr said to us: "I wish I were a tree that was cut down". 

(Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi and ibn-i-Majah) 

Commentry: As we have seen earlier, in connection with 
Traditions pertaining to Faith, the chief task and mission of the 
Prophet $jl is to communicate to the bondsmen the truths that the 
duty of his followers is to believe in those truths and observe those 
commands as the fundamental principels of their lives. The range 
of the sources of knowledge, like the intellect and senses. What 
Allah has granted to mankind is limited to the visible world. They 
do not go far enough to uncover the realities of the other [the 
invisible] worlds. The only way for us to know and understand the 
transcendental truths, therefore, is to rely on and accept as 
authentic what the Divine Messengers see, hear or tell. This is 
Faith in a nutshell. 

In this Tradition the Prophet ill has made the awe-inspiring 
revelation about the other world that the sky is shaking with the 
Power and Splendour of the Lord and with the abundance of the 
angels. There is hardly any space in it where an angel may not be 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

prostrating himself in reverence and humility. He has, further, 
emphasised that if we became aware of what was known to him, 
we would not be able to live happily in this world and enjoy its 
comforts but abandon our homes and roam about in wilderness, 
wailing and beseeching the Lord for mercy. 

The narrator, Abu Zarr, was so deeply moved by the report that 
while relating it he would often burst out: "I Wish to Allah that I 
was a tree which was cut down from the roots so that I was not 
presented to the Lord for the Great Reckoning". 

Since man has been created to function as the Vicegerent of 
Allah on earth and he can discharge his duty properly only when he 
enjoys peace of mind in the world, the truth have not been revealed 
to him which would have ruined his composure and tranquillity. 
For example, if the punishment of the grave and Hell was made 
known to us and we could see all the events of the Hereafter with 
our own eyes, we could not attend to the daily needs or even 
manage to live. But as the Prophet Muhammad 0 was raised up 
for the fulfilment of a special mission, it was essential that these 
realities were revealed to him to a certain extent so that he could 
attain the certitude and assurance that was needed for his lofty 
work and position. Thus, certain truth beyond the sphere of human 
experience were made known to him, and, with it, Divine 
Providence ordained for his heart an extraordinary strength that 
enabled him to carry out the tremendous responsibilities of 
Messengership in a fitting manner and lead a balanced life that 
could serve as a model to mankind at all times. 

^) LW (ij 4* '4i J^> ijS i Jtf a^i & < \t r/r> 


cJr -,i ubur} 4j jil ^jji jLiii tiij yij, dL: 

The Book of Soft-he arte dness 


vj( jj till; ti'y^ *J jjialfljj Jll jjia*J ^jpr ^ 

Ujt jiJLjj aJL*- diui ill J JlSj Jli i-jL^Ji ^i <o <j&- 

(i^JlxjaJl «ljj) . jUl jO>- tfljA?- jl Ai^Jl JP^>)J» "^f'a 

(143/3) Abu Sa'eed Khudri 4^s> has said that when the 
Messenger of Ailah £H came out for prayers one day, he 
found people enjoying a laugh among themselves (in the 
mosque). He said, 'If you were to keep much in 
remembrance of death which is the cutter-off of pleasures, it 
would distract you from what 1 see. Keep in remembrance 
death which is the cutter-off of pleasures, for a day does not 
come to the grave without it saying. 'I am the house of exile, 
I am the house of solitude, I am the house of dust, I am the 
house of warms.' (Obvisouly, only he can hear whom Allah 
causes to hear). When a believer dies the grave says to him, 
"Welcome and greeting; you are indeed the dearest to me of 
those who walk upon me, I have been given charge of you 
today and you have come to me and you will see how I treat 
you. It will then expand for him as far as a door to Paradise 
will be opened for him. But, when a very wicked evil-doing 
person or a disbeliever is buried, the grave says to him, 'No 
welcome and no greeting to you; you are the most hateful to 
me of those who walk upon me. I have been given charge of 
you today and you have come to me and you will see how I 
treat you". It will then press on him till his ribs are crushed 
together". The Messenger of Allah H indicated that by 
interlacing his fingers. Then, he added, "Seventy dragons 
will be put in charge of him of such a nature that if one of 
them was to breathe on earth it would produce no crops as 
long as the world endured, and they will bite and scratch 
him till he is brought to the recknoing." The Messenger of 
Allah iH also said, "The grave is one of the gardens of 
Paradise or one of the pits of Hell." 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Commentory: The punishment of the grave has been described in 
detail in the Book of Faith and explained enough to dispel doubts 
and answer questions. We have made it clear there that the use of 
the word grave implied the Barzakh, the intervening period 
between death and resurrection. We have also made it amply clear 
that the use of the word 'seventy' or any other figure of number 
merely conveys largeness or plentiful. The point to understand here 
is that we must not neglect Allah or the reckoning the hereafter. 
We must fight negligence by continually remembering death and 
the grave. This method is a sure way of correcting ourself. The 
Prophet £H had prescribed this method to his Companions qfe> and 
they had created through it taqwa, fear of Allah, and thought of the 
hereafter. Even today we find these characteristics in those slaves 
of Allah themselves who continually remember death and the 

May Allah cause us to act accordingly. Aameen. 
Remember Death Much To Keep Negligence Away 

i^j ii^i ^ J-iii t# \ Jiii f is jiii 

(144/4) Ubayy bin Ka'b related to us "When two-third of the 
night had passed, the Prophet would get up and say, 'O 
people, remember Allah! Remember Allah! The convulsion 
of the Last Day [i.e., the frist blast of the Trumpet] is near 
and closely following it is the second [blast]. Death, with all 
the things that go with it, is hovering over the head! Death, 
with all the attendant details, is about to strike." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: According to the Traditions, the usual practice of 
the holy Prophet £H was to divide his nights into three parts. The 
first part was spent in attending to his special needs and 
occupations and in offering up the Isha 1 prayers, during the second 
part he slept, and then, he would get up for Tahajjud 2 , and when 
the final third of the night began, he wanted to wake up, as related 
©.The late-evening prayers. 

©.The special prayers said during the later half of the night. 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


by Ubayy in the above Tradition, the members of his household 
and the general body of the Believers for prayers and Zikr . In 
order to drive away drowsiness and lethargy, he used to remind 
them, at that time, of the terrifying events of the Last Day and the 
extreme agony of death which is an unfailing recipe for stirring up 
people from negligence and slothfulness to the veneration and 
remembrance of Allah. Even today, it is most effective for anyone 
who may be finding it hard to leave the bed for Tahajjud to call to 
his mind the sufferings of death and of the grave and the Day of 
Final Reckoning. 

Fear And Anxiety 

&Ji k\ iiL 5i % b> k aiL l\ H j jUi Q $\ 

(145/5) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4fr that the Messenger of 
Allah A said: "He who has fear sets out at the beginning of the 
night and he who sets out at the beginning of the night reaches 
the destination safely. Remember, the bargain of the Lord is not 
cheap, but extremely dear. Remember, the bargain of Lord is 
Paradise". (Tirmidhi) 
Commentary: In Arabia, the caravans, generally, started in the last 
part of the night and, therefore, the highwaymen too, made their 
raids during the early hours of the morning. The travellers who 
were careful, however, perferred to begin their journey in the 
earlier part of the night so that they reached the destination without 
being attacked by the robbers. The Prophet S accordingly, says 
that just as prudent travellers forgo the night's sleep and start on the 
journey soon after dusk, those who are keen to attain Paradise 
should, also, proceed energetically towards the goal and be ready to 
suppress their desires and give up comforts for the sake of it. He, 
further, emphasises that what the bondsman is looking forward to 
obtain from the Lord is not a thing of a poor quality that can be 
given away without a price but haven, the abode of celestial bliss, 
which no one can hope to gain without making a sacrifice of the 

O Allah-remembrance. 

246 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

most valued things like lite, property and carnal appetites. Says the 

( I I - : 9 ^1) Stf $ & tfffi frjK ^ ^ ^ % - , 

Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their 
wealth because the Garden will be theirs. [At Tawbah 9: 1 1 1 ] 

That is, Garden (Paradise) is the commodity whose price is life and 
property of the buyer. 


p>'j ^ : j^j JtJ ^ ^ ^ ( u vi) 

#i J-gr*i iSUUUi ojdji ijft jil ^ul, 

(146/6) Abdullah Ibn Umar narrates that once a person said to 
the Prophet J& "O Messenger of Allah! Tell me who is the 
wisest and most farsighted of men." The Prophet 0 replied 
"He who remembers death much and makes the greatest 
preparation for it. They alone are wise and prudent who are like 
that. They earn respect in this world as well as glory in the 

Hereafter." . 

( I abrant) 

Commentary: When real life is the life of the Hereafter it is parent 
that the wisest and most farsighted among the bondsmen are those 
who keep death permanently in the mind and prepare earnestly for 
it. On the contrary, they, surely, are the greatest fools who know 
that death is certain and, yet, make no preparations for it and 
remain engrossed in wordly pleasures. 

fLj & *1 > JlS JU & alia ^ (UY/V) 

(,47/7 l Shaddad ,bn Aws related t0 us that the Messenger of 
allah m said: "The wise and the strong is he who keeps his 
inordinate appetites under control and strives for life after death 
[i.e.. for deliverance and felicity in the Hereafter], and the 
foolish and the weak is he who subordinates himself to sensual 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


pleasures [i.e., follows the biddings of the flesh instead of the 
commands of Allah], and hopes [for the best] from the Lord". 

(Tirmidhi and lbn-i-Majah) 

Commentry: In our world, he is considered to be clever who 
makes a lot of money and is in a position to do whatever he likes, 
while a person who fails in these objectives is looked down upon 
as weak and foolish. With the men of the world who believe the 
earthly existence to be everything, it has to be so. But in this 
Tradition the Prophet $H tells that the real life is not of the present 
world which, in any case, is transitroy, but of the Hereafter which 
is everlasting. Success in the life to come is for them alone who 
remain loyal and obedient to Allah during their stay on earth. 
Hence, the truely wise and successful bondsmen are those who 
hold themselves in readiness for the Ife to follow and make their 
carnal selves subordinate to the Divine Will. On the other hand, 
they are lacking in the wisdom and doomed to punishment who 
have made themselves slaves of their worldly desires and ambitions 
and instead of observing the laws and ordinances of Allah, follow 
their own whims and inclinations, and still cherish in their hearts 
the expectation of a happy sequel in the Hereafter. However clever 
they may be in worldy affairs, people who indulge freely in sensual 
pleasures and make no preparation for the after-life are a miserable 
lot, imprudent, unwise and unblessed. 

A special warning has been administered in this Trdition to 
those who care nothing in the practical life for what awaits on the 
other side of death and give a free rein to their desires and earthly 
propensities, and yet rely upon Allah's Benevolence and 
Forgiveness and when anyone admonishes them they say that the 
Mercy of the Lord is boundless. Such people are sadly mistaken 
and are bound to be disillusioned in the end. The hope of 
compassion and kindness from the Almighty is commendable when 
it is supported by action otherwise it is nothing but Satanic 

With Hearts Afraid 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

( 1 48/8) It is related by Sayyidah Ayshah &\ that once she 
enquired from the Prophet & about the Qur'anic verse, 

And those who give that which they give with hearts afraid, 

(Al Mu'minoon 23:60) 

whether it referred to people who drank wine and committed 
theft. "No", the Prophet S replied , "O daughter of Siddique 
[The truthful one]! [It indicates] the Allah-fearing men who 
observe fasting, offer regular prayers and give alms, and pay the 
pooor-due, and, even then, fear that their deeds of wroship may 
not find acceptance [with Allah]. These are the men who hastan 
towards good-doing." (Tirmidhi and Ibn-i-Majah) 

Commentary: In verses 57-60 of surah Mominoon, a few qualities 
are described of the bondmen who move with haste towards good 
and virtuous things, and one of the distinguishing traits that have 
been set forth, in this context, is that they are those who give that 
which they give with hearts afraid. It was about this verse that 
Sayyidah Aysha if* A\ had enquired from the Prophet A. She 
wanted to know whether it was with regard to men who fell into 
error but were not impudent, and, in spite of sinfulness, there was 
the fear of Allah in their hearts. The Prophet % replied that the 
verse did not refer to them but to such people who were devout and 
A Hah- fearing and observed the duties of prayer, fasting and charity 
regurlarly and yet felt uneasy about the outcome of their acts. After 
alluding to this attribue of the right-minded men, the Qur'an tells 
that it is they: 

Who race for the good things and they shall win them in the 


By reciting the last of these verses, too, in the course of his 

The Book of Soft-he arte dm ss 


reply to Sayyidah Aysha if* &\ the Prophet 0 has emphasised 
that this very fear and anxiety shall lead to the success and felicity 
of the Hereafter. 

It also tells that the Power, Glory and Anger of the Lord and 
His absolute freedom from standing in need of anyone or anything 
are worthy of being feared to the extent that one should not feel 
satisfied after performing even the highest act of virtue and 
worship but remain apprehensive of one's deed being rejected by 
Allah due to some fault or imperfection. The more this fear will be 
present in the heart, the more will the progress be made towards 
goodness and deliverance. 

On the Day of Judgement Every Worshipper 
will Regard His Deeds As Insignificant 

(149/9) Utbah Ibn Ubayd related that the Messenger of Allah 
HI said: "If a person lies continually in prostration, from the 
day of his birth to the day of his death, seeking the 
countenance of the Lord, on the day of Judgement He will 
consider this deed of his as worthless," (Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: When on the Day of Resurrection the scales will 
fall from the eyes and scenes of Reward and Punishment become 
manifest, the faithful bondsmen who will have spent most of their 
lives in prayer and adoration will feel that they had done nothing of 
note so much so that if any one had remained in prostration from 
the day of his birth to the day of his death, he, too, will consder his 
deed to be of no value. 

Minor Sins 

(150/10) It is related by Sayyidah Ayshah At that the 
Messneger of Allah III said to her: "O Ayshah! Take special 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

care to guard your self against sins that are regarded minor 
for even these will be brought to account by Allah." 

(Ibn Majah and Baihaqi) 
Commentary: Those who believe in the Hereafter and are heedful 
of the Judgement Day, generally, abstain from the major sins but 
where the minor sins are concerned even the devout and the 
Allah-fearing among them are inclined to be indifferent, though 
these also constitue the violation of a Allah-given rule and we shall 
have to answer for them on the Last Day. We should, therefore, be 
on our guard against what may seem to be insignificant offences as 
well. In this Tradition, the Prophet has given the same advice to 
Sayyadah Ayshah l«* di and though it is addressed directly to 
her, it applies to all Muslim men and women. When the Prophet's 
& own family is required to be careful in this respect, ordinary 
Muslims like ourselves cannot, obvioulsy, afford to be negligent. 
Granting that the minor transgressions are unimportant, as 
compared to the major ones, it is not that these do not invite the 
displeasure of the Lord and can be ignored as trivial. The 
difference between them is the same as between a less poisnous 
and a more poisnous snake. 

Fear and Hope 

^ M* iJ'Ai y# Jil ^TJUJ 'jZ Jill c#Ji 

4\ Je'y& lift J> ylS J> aUuifc %\ JU jui 

(151/11) Anas 4§& narrates that the Messenger of Allah H once 
visited a young man who was at death's door. The Prophet 0 
asked him. "In what state do you find yourself now?" The young 
man replied, "O Messenger of Allah! I am hopeful of Divine 
Mercy, but, at the same time, there is the fear of punishment for 
the sins [1 have committed]." The Prophet Hi remarked, 
"Believe it, in whose heart the two feelings of hope and fear are 
present at the time of death, Allah will, surely, grant him what 
he confidently expects from His Mercy and keep him safe from 
the punishment he fears in his heart." (Tirmidhi) 

The Book of Soft-heartedmss 


Commentary: Surely, in fear of Allah and His chastisement lies 
our salvation. 

Whoever Has Felt the Fear of 
Allah Will be Slavaged From Hell 

(152/12)Anas 4^> relates from the Messenger of Allah Hi that 
he said: "On the Day of Judgement Allah will command [the 
angels stationed at Hell] that whoever may have remembered 
Him at any time, or feared Him on any occasion, should be 
taken out of Hell." (Tirmidhi and Baihaqi) 

Commentary: We have stressed in the Book of Faith that it is 
incontrovertible from the point of view of the Qur'an and Sunnah 
that anyone who dies in a state of apostasy or polytheism will live 
permanetly in Hell and no act of his will be deemed worthy of 
securing his release from it. The above Tradition, accordingly, 
denotes that whoever departs from th world in such a condition that 
he is not an apostate or a polytheist but has committed a great 
many sins and made no provision for the Hereafter except that he 
has remembered Allah at any time, or feared Him on any occasion, 
will be cast into Hell on the Judgement Day to undergo the 
punishment for his misdeeds but, after some time, he will be taken 
out of it because of the Divine fear and remembrance of Allah. But 
Allah knows best. 

Auspiciousness of Tears 

est y^' tj-'j J^? 5^ <j!j t'y* <5* c/y 

(153/13) It is related by Abduallah Ibn Mas'ud ij$z> that the 
Messenger of Allah S said: "The tears that fall from the eyes of 
a truthful Believr, out of the fear of the Lord, and, then, roll 
down his face, however little they are, even of the size of the 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

head of a fly [i.e. just one drop], shall prevent the Fire of Hell 
from [touching] his face." (Ibn-e-Maja) 

Commentary: It- shows that the face that gets wet, at any time, 
with tears shed in response to the fear of the Lord will remain 
protected from the Fire of Hell. 

As we have explained earlier, when the happy tiding of 
protection against the Fire of Hell are given in a Tradition, as a 
result of performing a virtuous deed, it, generally, means that it is 
the characteristic attribute of that deed, and Allah will keep him 
safe from the infernal Fire who will carry it out provided that he is 
not guilty of a mortal sin which calls for the punishment of Fire, or 
if he has ever committed a sin entailing damnation, he has offered 
sincere repentance for it and resolved not to do it again. It must not 
be taken for an attempt at explaining away a difficulty but even in 
our common paralance such a condition is supposed to be implied 
with a promise or assurance of that kind. 

Standing of Hair on Ends 

iip CJL*i -fill j4«Ji JULr lit &j Cf~0° ^ 

(145/14) Sayyidina Abbas $h related to us from Messenger of 
Allah "When the hair of a bondsman stand on ends owing to 
the fear of the Lord, his sins fall away like leaves from an old 
and sapless tree." (Bazar) 

Commentary: Fear and anxiety are felt in the heart but the human 
nervous system is such that our emotions make themselves 
manifest through the body as well. Thus, when we are happy our 
face reacts to it, and, often, we laugh or smile, and when we are 
afflicted with sorrow our face also reflects it, and, sometimes, we 
weep. In the same way, the sensation of fear in the heart makes our 
hair stand on ends. Like the preceding Tradition in which the glad 
tidings of protection from the Fire of Hell were given to the 
Believers who wept out of the fear of the Lord, the above saying, 
as related by Sayyidina Abbas 4^> tells that when the hair of a 
Believer stand on ends owing to the fear of Allah his sins fall away 
like the leaves of a withered tree in the autumn. 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


A Parable 

^ *- J ^ lT^J* ^J^' 9^*^ "Hr^ J^J 

^ UlJLP <UjIiJ AJLp alii "jjl jil iSdlji ^ 4fljgij ^IJl ^ <U-ijl jjil 

CJfj O j 1 * Jr? ^ ^ j^j AliU *j2\ y>\j 

(155/15) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4^> that the Messenger 
of Allah iH said: "A person did great injustice to himself [i.e. he 
spent his days in folly and transgression]. When the hour of his 
death drew near [he was seized with the fear of Allah because of 
the life of negligence and evil-doing he had led, so much so 
that, he instructed his sons to burn his corpse to ashes when he 
died and to scatter some of the ashes on land and immerse some 
of them in the river [So that no trace of him was found 
anywhere and he could not be raised up on the Day of 
Recompense]. He said. 'By Allah! I am such a sinner that if the 
Lord gets hold of me. He will punish me like no one in the 
world'. So when he died, his sons carried out his wish [i.e., 
burnt his corps and scattered his ashes]. Then, at the command 
of Allah, the remains of his dead body came together from land 
and water [and he was brought back to life]. 'Why did you do 
that?' he was asked. "O my Lord, ' 1 le replied. '1 had done it only 
out of Your fear.' Allah, thereupon, pardoned him." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: The bondsman, in this parable, was not aware of 
the Power and Glory of the Lord and his record, too, was not good 
but before his death he was so greatly overcome by the fear of 
Allah that he made his foolish will thinking that when his ashes 
had been thrown about in all directions there was no possibility of 
his being raised up again. Since, however, the basic cause of his 
folly was the fear of Allah, he was forgiven. 

Different explanations are given for the words <&< jJJ j4 but 
in our opinion the meaning given by us is correct 'if the Lord gets 
hold of me.' 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

This was an ignorant idea of the unfortunate man, and Allah 
forgave him that lapse too. But Allah knows best. 

Criterion of Excellence And Nearness 

(156/16) Abu Zarr 4fe narrates that the Messenger of Allah % 
[once] said to him: " You, as a person, enjoy no supreiority over 
a white-skinned or a black-skinned man. You can, of course, be 
excellent through piety and fear of Allah." (Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: It shows that honour and superiority does not rest 
with wealth, nationality, birth, language or face and figure. It is 
determined by piety [i.e., fear of Allah and the way of life 
stemming from it]. Thus, with Allah he is greater in honour who is 
more pious. As the Qur'an says: 

( \ r : i i oi j**Ji) f&Jl ill JlIp (i&yi Si 
Verily, the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he 
who is) the most righteous of you. [Al-Hurajat 49: 1 3] 

hzj %\ jk\ & j4\ J\ 

(I* ^u^i^ j( Jsilj (Jib ^.ui jui # ^ Jsji 
d4^3 ^ oj^ 1 1>. t/^i J j» Si Jia »SaJi 3^ ^.3* jiu 

(157/17) It is related by Mu'az Ibn Jabal that the Messenger 
of Allah 0 sent him to Yemen (as the Governor or Judge). 
[When he was leaving for that place] the Prophet H went with 
him [for some distance by way of a send-off], giving him 
[necessary] insturctions and advice. At that time, Mu'az [at the 
bidding of the Prophet] was riding on his mount while the 
Prophet H was walking on foot beside him. The last thing the 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 255 

Prophet iH said, after he had given the necessary instruction 
was "We may not meet again after this year [i.e., it is the last 
year of my life and I am about to depart from the world J. li is 
possible that [when you return from Yemen] you may visit my 
mosque and grave." On hearing it, Mu'az began to cry. Turning 
his face away from him and in the directon of Medinah, the 
Prophet remarked, "Much closer and dearer to me are the 
bondsmen who fear Allah [and observe piety], whoever they are 
and wherever they may be." (Masnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: The concluding part of the above Tradition denotes 
that spiritual nearness and attachment is the main thing. Hence, 
however distant a man may be from the Prophet s$l physicaly. he 
may be in Yemen or in any other part of the world, if he possesses 
the virtue of piety and has the fear of Allah, he is close to him, or, 
rather, with him. On the other hand, if a person is near him, in the 
physical sense, but his heart is devoid of piety, he is removed from 
the Prophet $H and the Prophet H is removed from him, all the 
seeming nearness not-withstanding. 

The Prophet ill has, in this way, consoled Mu'az. He has 
advised him not to grieve over the apparent separation for with 
piety and the fear of Allah in his heart he will not be far from him 
even if he lived in Yemen. Moreover, the present existence is 
transitory, and the permanent dwelling place is the future world 
where all the righteous bondsmen of Allah will live with the 
Prophet HI forever and there will be no question of separation. 

The Prophet iH had turned his face away while speaking these 
words, probably, because he , too, had been moved to tears at the 
weeping of Mu'az and wanted to conceal it from him. It could, also, 
be that the spectacle of a true friend weeping was unbearable for 
the Prophet £H, and, therefore, he looked away. 

The Prophet ^ ordered Mu'az to ride on his mount while, for 
himself, he preferred to walk on foot by his side. What a great 
lesson and good example does it contain for those who are 
regarded to be the religious and spiritual deputies of the 

May Allah cause us to fear Him and entitle us to the spiritual 
nearness of the Messenger 0 and company in the Hereafter. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Conditions of the Prophet And the Companions 

The following Ahadith tells us how the Prophet $1 and his 
Companions $fc> after fearing Allah and thinking of the Hereafter. 

jj^JL' V jiLtj jL> ill J)^3 JlS Jll ^br j*(\oA/\A) 

(( JLw. a) jj) .ill U£> ^ Ul */j jill o^J £LjJl ikp ^ 

(158/18) It is related by Jabir $k> that the Messenger of Allah 
said: "No deed of anoyne of you can take him to Heaven, or 
save him from Hell, and the same is true for myself, save by the 
Mercy of Allah. (Muslim) 

Commentary: The observation made by the Prophet Hi that even 
he will not by able to entire Heaven by reasons of his well-doing 
and worship and if he will go to Paradise, it will be solely by by the 
Mercy of Allah; this is enough to show how exceedingly 
God-fearing and anxious he was for the Hereafter. 

cXps- bl (iLj aJp 'ill JLp ,^1 LiJlp ^ (\o<\/\\) 

Aj cJLijt U ^-j l4s?^* Js^S^J^" *SSi^\ ^\ Jll £J^Jl 

u»jip ofo lUI " ai* jil ur lijip u &j jiii ajLJ iiiiP 

(j,JLw» j ^jUjl aljj) /'U_^i J? jlP lA^ 1^15 jl jJlli 

(159/19) Sayyidah Ayshah i^pii^j narrated that the condition 
of the Messenger of Allah Hi was such that when a strong wind 
worked up, the following prayer came to his lips: 

O Allah! 1 beg of You the good of this wind, and the good of 
what is contained therein, and the good of the purpose for which 
it has been sent, and 1 seek refuge in You from its mischief, and 
from the mischief of what is contained therein, and from the 
mischief of the prupose for which it has been sent." [Similarly], 
when the sky became overcast, he would turn pale [with fear] 
and [so great was his agitation], sometimes, he would go in, and 
sometimes, he would come out, and sometimes, he would move 
to the front, and sometimes, he would move to the rear till it 


The Book of Spft-heartedness 


rained [ and the storm passed. off safely]. On her asking him, the 
Prophet ill told her: "O Ayshah! I fear that this wind is similar 
to what was sent towards Aad [the community of the Prophet 
Hud and has been alluded to in the Qur'an in these words]: 

"Then, when they beheld it as a dense cloud bringing us rain 
though it was not a rain-bearing cloud but a tempest that had 
come to destroy them. [XL VI: 24] (Bukahri and Muslim) 

Commentary: The object of the above report is simply to give an 
idea of the prevailing influence of the fear of Allah on the Prophet 
ill. Even when a strong wind blew the Prophet iH frequently 
prayed that it brought nothing but good and sought the protection 
of the Lord against its mischeif. Likewise, when a cloud appeared 
in the sky, the Prophet H felt extremely restless. He feared that 
Allah had sent down His punishment in the shape of it as had 
happened with the defaint followers of Prophet Hud who were 
happy seeing the cloud coming towards their land and thought that 
it brought the blissful rain but it turned out to be a terrible storm of 
Divine chastisement. The Qur'anic verse quoted above is 
incomplete. Its concluding part reads: 

"Nay, but it is that which ye did seek to hasten, a wind wherein 
is painful torment." 

(160/20) Abdullah Ibn Abbas 4&e> narrated to us that Abu Bakr 
$k> [once] remarked to the Prophet i$i: "O Messenge of Allah 
j&! You have grown old!" The Prophet replied: The Surah 
Hud, Waqi'ah, Mursalat, Naba and Takwir have made me old." 


Commentary: The health of the Prophet ill was exception ally 
good and his disposition was most moderate. The signs of old age 
should, therefore, not have normally appeared in him for a long 
time. But when he began to show the effects of advancing year 
before the expected time. Sayyidna Abu Bakr <i^>, one day, 
exclaimed, "Messenger of Allah W>, you have started ageing 
already." The Prophet 0 said that the Qur'anic Chapters of Hud, 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Waqi'ah, Mursalat, Naba and Takwir had made him old. These 
Chapters contain a vivid description of the happenings of the 
Hereafter, like the Convulsion, the Resurrection, the Final 
Judgement and the meting out of pusnihment to the sinners. The 
Prophet Hi was deeply affected by them, and the fear of Allah and 
anxiety for the Hereafter gripped his heart so powerfully when he 
recited them that it told on his health. Fear and anxity are 
recognised all over the world as the foremost enemies of physical 
as well as emotional well-being. These quickly make a young man 
grey-headed. For this reason, the Last Day has been described in 
the Qur'an as, 

( ^ Y:Vr yy^) Ci™ J*^ ^Ji 
A Day that will make childern heary-headed.[AI-Muzammil 73:17]. 

This hadith gives us an idea of the state of the Prohet's heart 
because of fear of Allah. 

(161/21 ) Anas said to people of his time that you do things 
when seems in your eyes to be finer than hairs but which in the 
time of the Mesenger of Allah HI to be of the Mubiqat which 
cause destruction." (Bukahri) 

Commentary: It shows that during the days of the Prophet $H the 
fear of Allah was predominant among the Muslims [i.e., the 
Companions] to such an extent and they were so fearful of the 
reockoning and sequel of the Hereafter that actions which the latter 
poeple regarded as ordinary and no particular care was taken to 
abstain from, were considered by those venerable men as fatal and 
avoided them like prison. 

\jj U ciii &JU 44* J* J 1 * <f ( n r/T Y ) 

Jlflj j^JLij Qs> &\ JLi? &\ J}->j p>u-/» Ui» J^T J* «>*^- 

iiUaii 6' 4^-^J 1 J J Isi^ CJlT 5!^" 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


(162/22) Nadr, the Taba'ec, narrated "Once a black dust storm 
blew during the lifetime of Anas upon which 1 went to him 
and said, 'O Abu Hamzah! Did such black duststroms also come 
upon you during the days of th Prophet life?' Anas replied, 'I 
seek the refuge of Allah! The state, then, was that even when a 
slightly stronger wind blew we used to rush to the mosque on 
account of the fear of the Last Day'." 

ul£ jiil ^££J jil t>4l^ji *y Ji ajfe 'j. ( nr/Yr) 

Jlp ^'JZ ciav Jji? U in jl^IJj Jll aikl^- j>lu cil ?iikL>- U cJt 
^ u^-y- bli jIp til 3 J^ b - ^j?-^ jS*^ 1 J-" 3 

jL y\ jil \yg uiJj ouiiJij iy#Vj lLJi* a£* 

'ill JU ^Jl lIi>-5 j&)?3 W cJ&aili Ji* JSiaJ Ut 

jjSJ cJb ?o li U3 JUS rtiil J jw3 Ij ilki^ jjjflU cJJai JL^ a *lip 
lllilp v-T^Ip U^3 ?: " ^ Js* t^j u ^ f^'j i-SUjp 

t>jjt3 ^3 4ip'iui JU jiii 1I1J3 014^13 ivj^j £'3.$ 

(163 23* It has been related to us by Hanzala Ibn ar-Rabi' 
al-Hsauli "One day Abu Bakr met me and said, Ilanzalah! How 
arc you?' I replied, Ilanzalah has become a Hypocrite' Glory be 
Allah!', he exclaimed, 'What are you saying?' 'The thing is,' I 
replied, 'that when I am with the Prophet and he talks about 
Heaven and Hell and admonishes me, I feel as if I am actually 
seeing Heaven and Hell but when I return home from his 
presence, my wife and children and the affairs of land and 
agriculture engage my attention and I forget everything.' On 
hearing it, Abu Bakr 4^s> remarked, ' The same is the case with 
me.' Both of us thereupon, went to the Prophet and 
[narrating my own state to him] I said, '0 Messenger of Allah 
s§l! Hanzalah has become a I lypocrite.' 'What is the matter with 
you?' he asked. 'The thing is,' I replied, "that when I am with you 

260 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

and you admonish me, after speaking about Heaven and Hell, it 
seems that I am seeing them right in front of me, but when I 
return home, my wife and children and the tasks of agriculture 
occupy my mind and I forget about everything else.' The 
Prophet iH observed, 'By the Being in whose power is my life if 
your condition always remains what it is in my presence and 
you are constantly occupied with the remembrance of Allah, the 
angels will shake hands with you on your bed and in the way. 
But, O Hanzalah! [Allah has not enjoined it upon us, and] it is 
enough that it happens occasionally.' And he said that three 
times." (Muslim) 

Commentary: It shows that the anxiety of the holy Companoins 
for Faith and the Hereafter was so acute and geniune that they 
began to suspect themselves of hypocrisy if the slightest alteration 
was noticed by them in their spiritual state. 

jijtf £>U? y jis jil ^ iyj >J\ & (m /u) 

L^i(3 ii» Uyju ojJu UUi- J«i£ JS" 5<j &yj> *** aJLS* ldU*j 4ii 

£p% JU & j_^3 jl^ uiii^ ti kj * (iftiJjJi jua Ji'ji 

U !3 J«£" J** ^i***' fi^J K 'Js? fa Ui **J L *-^J ^s^J (i^J 

J£h& S? ^ #oi >U jJS ^iJij ui <<J ^ Jil jTii 

(164/24) It is related by Abu Burdah, son of Abu Moosa Ash'ari 
$k> that Abdullah ibn Umar [once] asked him, "Do you 
know what my father had told your father?" "I do not", he 
replied. Abdullah ibn Umar, then, said that his father had said to 
Abu Burdah's father, " O Abu Moosa! Are you satisfied with it 
that our affirmation of Islam with the Prophet and at his hand, 
and our participation in Hijrah and Jihad with him and all the 
other good deeds we performed in his company remained 
preserved for us [and the reward for them was given to us], and 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


the things we did after him were treated on even terms [i.e., we 
were neither rewarded nor punished for them]?" On hearing it, 
Abu Moosa remarked, "No, by Allah! I do not want it. We have 
done Jihad after the Prophet, offered prayes observed fasting 
and performed many other good deeds, and, [in addition to it], 
innumerable bondsmen of the Lord have embraced Islam 
through our efforts and at our hands and we are entirely hopeful 
of being recompensed for them by Allah." Abdullah's father 
[Sayyadina Umar], thereupon, said, "By the Divine Being in 
whose power is Umar's life! I fervently wish that the deeds we 
performed with the Prophet remained secure for us and we were 
requsted for them while the deeds we have performed after him 
were not taken into account, for good or for evil." [Abu Burdah 
went on to narrate] that, upon it, he said to Abdullah ibn Umar, 
"By Allah! Your father was better than mine." (Bukhari) 
Commentary: It can be hoped about prayers offered behind a 
virtuous and righteous bondsman of the Lord that it will find 
acceptance with the Lord. In a similar way, Sayyidina Umar 
believed that good actions like prayer, fasting, Hijrah and Jihad he 
had carried out in the company of the Prophet ft would be blessed 
with Divine approval but since the deeds performed after death of 
the Prophet ft did not possess the virtue of association with him, 
Sayyidina Umar, like all spiritually evolved men, felt apprehensive 
of what they were going to lead to and saw his success and safety 
in their being considered to be wrothy neither of reward nor of 
punishment at the Final Reckoning. 

The remark of Abu Burdah that Abdullah ibn Umar's father was 
superior to his own probably denotes that Sayyidina Umar was 
better and nobler because he was so greatly dissatisfied with his 
earthly conduct and fearful of Divine displeasure. 

In a report of the martyrdom of Sayyidina Umar 4&>, appearing 
in Sahih Bukhari, it is mentioned that, at the time ' f his death, he 

"I swear by Allah that if 1 had gold of the weight of the earth I 
would give it as ransom against the punishment of Allah and 
obtain my release." 

Such was the dominance of the fear of Allah over the 

262 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

bondsman who had repeatedly heard the glad tidings of Paradise 
from the Prophet of Allah S himself! O Allah! Let us have some 
such condition in ourselves. 


In the Tradition concerning Riqaq which we are now going to 
discuss, the holy Prophet ill has expressed contempt for the 
material world and laid stress on its worthlessness in the sight of 
Allah as compared with the Hereafter. 

The attachment to wordly interest has become so strong these 
days and the problem of material advancement has assumed such 
proportions that even the Muslims do not easily digest the rejection 
of the world as inferior. Things have come to such a pass that some 
of those who are regarded as Muslim leaders or theologians feel no 
hesitation in dismissing all talk about the futility and nothingness 
of wordly success and material well-being as monasticism 
ill-consceived mysticism [Tasawwuf], and when their attention is 
drawn to the relevant sayings of the Prophet J$H they challenge 
their veracity in the manner of the deniers of the Traditions. We, as 
such, propose to examine the question in some details in the light 
of the Qur'an before proceeding with the Traditions. May Allah 
help us. 

The World And The Hereafter 

(i) As the world we live in is a reality, so, also, is the Hereafter. 
There can be no two opinions about it. If we do not see it, or have a 
physical sensation of it, in the present existence, the material 
world, too, was not visible to us when we were in the wombs of 
our mothers. Then, just as on coming into this world we saw the 
earth and the sky and millions of the other things we could not 
dream of in our mothers womb, when we will die and arrive at the 
next world we will also discover Heaven and Hell and all the things 
have been revealed by the Divine Messengers and in the holy 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Scriptures. In short, the Hereafter is as much real as the present 
existence on earth, and we will find that out on dying. We have full 
faith in that. 

(ii) About the existing world we are certain that it is transitory. 
It is bound to perish one day along with all that is contained in it. 
On the other hand, the Hereafter is everlasting. On reaching there, 
man, too, will be endowed with eternity. The life that will be 
granted to him in the next world will be endless. In the same 
manner, the boons and favours conferred on worthy bondsmen in 
me future existence will also be unending. Or, as the Qur'anhasputit: 
( I ♦ A: I I i j*) ijJb%i X TlaP 
A gift unfailing. [Hud 1 1 : 108]. 

Similarly, the punishment of those who will incur the warth of 
the Lord due to apostasy, intransigence or evil-doing will, also, be 
without end, as it has been said at various places in the Qur'an: 

They will reside there in forever. (Al-Jinn 72:23) 

And they will not emerge from the Fire. [Al-Baqarah 2:167]. 

It taketh not complete effect upon them so that they can die, nor 
is its torment lightened for them. [Fatir 35:36]. 

We, again, place our reliance on the revelation made by the 
Divine Messengers and in the Scriptures about the joys and 
comforts of the Hereafter that they are immeasurably superior to 
those of this world. The real pleasures and blessings are, in truth, 
of the Hereafter. No pleasant conditions of earthly life can bear 
comparison with them. Likewise, the pain and suffering of the 
present world is nothing in contrast with the torment of Hell of the 
lowest order. 

All these things, obviously, demand that man's activities were 
directed wholly towards the life to come and the attachment to this 
world was restricted only to what was essential and unavoidable. 

(ii) But since the world is surrounding us all the time and the 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


Hereafter is hidden from our eyes even those of us who believe in 
these truths are, generally, swayed by material aims and intrests. It 
is an inherent weakness with us. Our thinking in this regard is like 
that of the children who remain engrossed in toys and games and 
find the educational prusuits that are intended to make them 
successful in the life most tiresome and unintersting. Their parents 
try to interest them in the serious pursuits that they may succeed in 
life and become honourable persons. 

(iv) Through the Prophets raised up by Allah and the Scriptures 
revealed by Him, the endeavour has always been made to remove 
this failing and to make clear the position of the Hereafter vis-a-vis 
the present world, but man has continued to behave like a child. 

But you prefer the life of the world although the Hereafter is 
better and more lasting. Lo! This is in the former scrolls, the 
Books of Ibrahim and Musa. (Al-A'la87:16-19) 

(v) The Qur'an being the last message to be sent down by Allah, 
the importance of the Hereafter and the immateriality of this world 
have been emphasised in it with utmost force and clarity. For 
instance, it says: 

Say [unto them, O Muhammad]: The comfort of this world is 
• scant; the Herafter will be better for him who wardeth off evil; 


Naught is the life of the world save a pastime and a sport. Better 
far is the abode of the Hereafter for those who keep their duty 
(to Allah). Have ye then no sense?" [Al-An'am 6:32] 

Lo! This life of the world is but a passing comfort, and Lo! The 
Hereafter, that is the enduring home. [Al-Mu'min 40:39]. 

H\ s tij jj > # 5>i j 4d* ij>H\ Jj 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment [for the 
rebels and the transgressors], and (also) forgiveness form Allah 
and His good pleasure [for those who are loyal and do good], 
whereas the life of the world is but a matter of illusion. 

[Al-Hadid 57:20]. 

(vi) Among the few points on which special stress has deen laid 
by th Divine Prophets and holy Scriputres, one is that the material 
world should be regaraded as utterly worthless. One must not get 
unnecessarily involved in it nor make it the end and purpose of his 
hopes and aspirations but believing in the Hereafter to be his real 
abode and keeping in mind the preference it enjoys over the present 
world, allow the solicitue for success in future existence to prevail 
over all worldly cares and considerations. An essential condition of 
felicity in the Hereafter, therefore, is that this world is looked down 
upon as base, contempible and valueless, the heart is set on life 
after death, and the cry of his heart and soul should be: 

O my Allah! There is no joy other than the joy of the Hcrafter. 
Hence, the sacred Prophet, also, taught it through his sayings 
and sermons and inscribed it on the hearts of the Believers by his 
own conduct. The object of the Traditions we are now going to 
discuss and in which the Prophet S has dwelt upon the futility and 
worthlessness of this world ought to be understood against this 

(vii) It needs, further, be remembered that the material world 
that has been condemned in these Traditions is that which is 
inimical to felicity in the Hereafter. Otherwise, active engagement 
in worldly occupations and pursuits of material gain and enjoyment 
which is subordinated to earnest anxiety for the Hereafter and does 
not offer a hindrance to salvation is not only not undesirable but 
also a stepping stone to Paradise. 

Let us now read the following ahadith in this light. 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


The Material World In Comparison 

To The Hereafter 

the Messenger of Allah % say: "By Allah, "the likeness of this 
world as compared to the Hereafter is that someone of you took 
out his finger after dipping it into a river and then saw how 

Commentary: It shows that the existing world is as insignificant 
before the world to come as the water on the finger is as compared 
to the river in which it is dipped. This is only a way of saying or 
else the present world does not bear even as much resemblance to 
the Hereafter. The world and all that is in it is finite and ephemeral 
while the Hereafter is infinite and eternal and it is an accepted 
principle of mathematics that the finite and the ephemeral has 
nothing in common with the infinite and the everlasting. Such 
being the case, one who strives to the utmost for his worldly aims 
and interests but makes no preparation for the fife after death is a 
loser through and through. 

Jll U 4ji ti*ju ijitift ?£ijju tfiJbft # L*u jj$ Jia c4i 

(166/26) Jabir 4%*> related to us that the Messenger of Allah 
once passed by a dead young goat whose ear had been cut off. 
He enquired from those who were with him at that time. "Will 
anyone of you like to buy this dead kid for a dirham?" "We will 
not buy it at any price", they replied. The Propeht H, 
thereupon, said, "I swear in the name of Allah that in His sight 
this world is as hateful and worthless as the dead kid is in your 
sight." (Muslim) 

Commentary: The unbounded passion Allah had granted to the 
Prophet Hi for the guidance and upliftment of mankind can be 

much water it had brought with itself. 



Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

imagined from the above report. The Prophet $B> is going on the 
road when he comes across the dead body of a kid, and, instead of 
turning his gaze away from it in revulsion and passing on quickly, 
he makes use of the incident to impart, valuable moral teaching to 
the Companions ejfe, and tells them that the world was valueless in 
the judgement of the Lord as the carcass of the young goat was in 
their judgement. They should, therefore, not make it the object of 
their desires and exertions but strive sincerely for the Hereafter. 

') fa 3 &%\ JU> J^} J* J* ^ Ji & 0 1Y/YY) 
. ij'j^ S'jtf Jl* li X^'jkj £u£ ill Jlp Jjjtf 6ii\ cJlT 

(167/27) It is related by Sahl ibn Sa'd that the Messenger of 
Allah m said: "Had this world been to Allah equivalent to the 
value of the wing of a gnat, He would not have given a sip of 
water therefrom to the infidel." (Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: Whatever the infidels, the unbelivers and the 
deniers of Allah and the Messenger are getting from the world [and 
it is a great deal, no doubt] is simply due to the fact that this world 
is altogether vain and valueless in the sight of Allah. Were it not 
so, He would not have given even a draught of water to the rebels 
and transgressors. Thus, in the Hereafter, which is of real worth 
and importance in the judgement of the Lord, not as much as a 
drop of fresh water will be given to them. 

Believer' s Prison-House 

dlji faj $*%\ JU Ai Jti JiS 8j£i 3 J\ 'J. (m/r ' ; 

(168/28) It is related by Abu Hurayrah ^ that the Messenger of 
Allah m said: " The world is the prison-house of the Believer 
and Paradise, of the infidel." (Muslim) 

Commentary: One of the main feature of a prisoner's life is that 
he is not free in whatever he does. He has to carry out other 
poeple's commands in all matters. He eats and drinks what is given 
to him and when it is given, and sits or stands where he is told to 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


do so. He has no will of his own. Another characteristic of it is that 
the prisoner does not feel attatched to the prison and never 
considers it his home. He is always eager to get out of it. On the 
contrary, no restrictions will be placed on the dwellers of Heaven. 
Everyone will be free to do as he pleases and all his wishes will be 
fulfilled. Besides, even after spending thousands of years in 
Paradise no dweller will get tired of living in it or weary of its 
comforts. He will never want to to leave it. Says the Qur'an: 

And therein is all that souls desire and eyes find sweet. And ye 
are immortal therein. (Zukhruf 43:71) 

Wherein they will abide, with no desire to be removed from 
thence. (Al-Kahf 18:108) 

Hence, in my humble opinion the chief moral the above 
Tradition contains for the Believers is that they should lead a life of 
checks and restraint in the world, as one does in the prison, and 
remember always that to regard it their paradise and to get attached 
to it and make its joys and comforts the ambition's end is the way 
of the infidels. 

If a person's attitude towards the world is akin to that of a 
prisoner towards the prison-house, he is a truthful Believer, and if 
he becomes so deeply involved in it as to make it the be-all and 
end-all of his existence, he is an infidel, according to the maxim 
laid down in this Tradition. 

The World is Transitory While 
the Hereafter is Eternal 

(169/29) It is related by Abu Moosa that the Messenger of 
Allah said: "Whoever loves the world shall damage his 
Hereafter, and whoever loves his Hereafter shall damage his 
world. Thus, [when between the world and the Hereafter the 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I! 

choice of one is sure to lead to the loss of the other] you should 

prefer what is lasting to what is transitory. 

(Musnad Ahmad and Baihaqi) 
Commentary: When a person will make the world the exclusive 
aim of his life, he will live for it and all his endeavours will be 
directed towards the realisation of material aims and interests and 
the Merafter will get into the background; he will not care much for 
it, and eventually, it will lead to the loss of the world to come. 

Similarly, when a person will set his heart on the Hereafter he 
will strive for it to the best of his ability, and his wordiy intrests 
will suffer in the outcome. Hence, a truthful Believer should make 
the Hereafter the ob ject of his desire, which is eternal. The material 
world, at' best, is a nine days' wonder. 

A Veritable Curse 

( 1 70/30) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4fe that the Messenger 
of Allah H said: The world is accused and what it contains is 
accused, except remembrance of Allah and what He likes and 
the teachers and the taught." (Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: This world, which makes many a man forget Allah 
and the Hereafter when he becomes absorbed in it, is so hateful in 
its nature and outcome that there is no place of it even in the 
boundless benevolence of the Lord. The mercy of Allah, in the 
present world is, indeed, upon His remembrance and upon the 
things that arc associated with Him, particularly those who possess 
the knowledge of Faith or seek it, 

It denotes that only such things are deserving of Divine Grace 
thai are connected with the Lord, directly or indirectly, or His 
Faith. Deeds that have nothing to do with Him or His Faith [and 
the 'world' mean just that] are, simply, detestable. 

Hence, if a man's life is devoid of devotion to Allah and His 
remembrance and bereft of the knowledge or study of Faith, it is 
worthy not of Divine benevolence but of anger. 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


Seeker of the World Cannot 
Keep Himself From Sinning 

(171/31) Anas relates that the Messenger of Allah Sp, one day 
asked: "Is there anyone who walks on water and his feet do not 
get wet?" "Our master, it can not be." he was told. "In the same 
way," remarked the Prophet, "The worldly-minded can not 
remain free from sin." (Bukhari) 

Commentary: The worldly-minded, in the above saying, signifies 
one who is intent on gain and worldly pleasure. Such a person 
cannot remain safe from sin. But if the ultimate aims of bondsman 
be the seeking of the countenance of the Lord and the occupation 
in worldly interests in only a means to it, he will not be called 
worldly-minded. It will not be difficult for him to keep away from 
sinful acts in spite of apparent engagement in worldly pursuits. 

Allah Protects Whom He Loves From The World 

\l\ JlS ^) JU> ill Jj^j 0' (jU*^ c/- <S* ( ^ vr/r Y) 

.frUJi £>jp l^^i p^J^ J^j •■if£*iii v^*' 

(172/32) It is related by Qatadah ibn Nu'man that the Messenger 
of Allah iH said: "When Allah loves anyone. He makes him 
avoid the world, as you make patient avoid water [when it is 
harmful for him]." (Tirmidhi and Musnad-i-Ahmad) 

Commentary: This 'world,' as we have seen, means the world that 
makes one forgetful of Allah and in getting absorbed in which 
there is the loss of the Hereafter. Hence, whom Allah loves, He 
protects them against this wretched world as a sickman is, 
sometimes, made to abstain from water. 

A Wayfarer 

Up %\ JU iii jil 'jU J> in xJ. 'J, ( \ vr/r r> 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

(173/33) Abduallah ibn Umar ^ relates that the Messenger of 
Allah m once said to him grasping his shoulders with his 
hands: "Live in the world as if you were a stranger or a 
wayfarer." (Bukhari) 

Commentary: Just as a traveller does not consider an inn or a 
foreign country his home, a truthful Believer should, also not 
imagine the world to be his real abode as if he was going to live- 
, here forever. 

The design of life the Divine Messengers have preferred for 
mankind rests upon the principle that man should treat his earthly 
sojourn to be purely temporary and prepare ardently for Hereafter 
as if he was actually seeing it, or, rather, living in it. One's life falls 
in with the wishes and teachings of the prophets f*~3\ (t to the 
extent to which one succeeds in producing this state within oneself, 
and those who fall short of it, their life has nothing in common 
with the precepts taught by them. 

This World And The Next 

* j # & jru tffo Si vi 

(^SUJlflljj) (A-V:<n Jl jlj) .ojSl^i Sji JllL 

( 1 74/34) 'Amr ibn al-Aas narrated that , one day, the Messenger 
of Allah $H delivered a sermon in which he said: "Listen and 
remember! The world is a temporary bargain which, for the time 
being, is ready money [but it has no real value], [and, hence], 
everyone, virtuous or wicked, has a share in it and everyone eats 
from it. But believe it, the Hererafter is an unalterable reality 
which is bound to come at the appointed time, and, in which the 
All-powerful Sovereign will judge [about reward and 
punishment according to the deeds of men on earth]. 

The Book of 'Soft-he arte dm ss 


Remember, all that is good and pleasing, and everything 

connected therewith, is in Heaven while al! that is vicious and 

painful, and everything connected therewith, is in Hell. So, 

beware! [Whatever you may do] do it with the fear of Allah [and 

earnest anxiety for the Hereafter], and believe it that you will be 

presented before the Lord with your deeds. Thus, whoever will 

have done a good deed, even of the weight of an atom, he shall 

see it and whoever will have done an evil deed, even of the 

weight of an atom, he, too, shall get it back." 

(Musnad-i-lmam Shaf ai) 

Commentary: The greatest misfortune of man and the root of all 
evil is that he spends his life in disregard of the commands of Allah 
and makes the satisfaction of his inordinate desires the sole aim of 
living. He does so because whatever is in the world is present 
before his eyes, all the time, while Allah and the Hereafter are 
invisible. The only way to guard men against the danger, therefore, 
is that the futility and worthlessness of the material world and the 
importance and susperiority of Hereafter is presented before them 
forcefully and a sustained effort is made to bring certainly to their 
minds about the Judgement Day, the Final Requital and Heaven 
and Hell. This is the gist of the Prophet's iH sermon as indeed, his 

Unfortunately, in the modern times, the transitoriness of the 
world and the value and importance of the Hereafter and the reality 
of Heaven and Hell are not dwelt upon and spoken about in 
religious preaching and exhortation with the emphasis and force of 
conviction they deserve. The general tendency is to explain the 
tenets of Faith in a way that is peculiar to materialistic ideologies 
and movements. It is a most alarming trend which should be set 
right soon. 

Do Not Attach Yourself To This 
World But Seek The Hereafter 

j jji f iii iff jtfi j>j J* J* 


Meaning and Message of {he Traditions Part II 

llijl ^ ja "i! j\ l a i k^j l jll U^l» A^lj J^Jj iLol! 

(175/35) Sayyidina Jabir has said that the Messenger of 
Allah said, "The things I fear most for my people are 
al-hawa 1 and tool al-amal. 2 Al-hawa implies here the following 
of personal whims in regard to religious obligations and tool 
al-amal implies great desires lor worldly things. As for al-hawa, 
it turns people away from the truth and tool al-amal makes them 
forgetful of the hereafter. This world is journeying and moving 
away while the hereafter is journeying and approaching and 
both have children (some attach themselves to the world as 
children are attached to their mother while some have a similar 
attachment to hereafter, so, if you can avoid being childern in 
the world, do so, for today you are in the abode of action and 
not that of being taken to account, but tomorrow you will be in 
the abode of the hereafter when action is impossible. (Rather, 
there will be accounting actions done here 3 ). (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: The Messenger of Allah ^ has expressed fear of 
two serious diseases on his people. He has, therefore, warned them 
against them, al-hawa and tool al-amal. The fact is, it is these two 
diseases that have really destroyed a large section of the Ummah. 
Those people who are misled into ideologies suffer from the 
malady of al-hawa, and those whose deeds are bad do suffer from 
tool al-amal, and love for the world, and they are neglectful of the 
Hereafter and making prepartions for it. The cure lies in what the 
Prophet 0 has said towards the end of the hadith. They should 
realise in their minds that this world is ephemeral and perishable 
while the Hereafter is eternal and real. Once this fact is understood, 
it is easy to correct ideologies and deeds. 

Danger of Affluence 

-oil Jl*&\ j JiS J is ij'jfi Ji j^i- 'J, ( w Vr \ ) 

© Passion. 

© Hope for distant future. 

© Mishkat al Mosabih, V2, P 1081, ( tr. Robson) Ashraf, Lahore. 

The Book of Soft-heartedmss 


(1 76/36) It is related by 'Amr ibn Awf that the Messenger of 
Allah m said: "It is not poverty that I fear for you, but what I 
really fear is that the earth may be spread for you, as it had been 
spread for those who came before you, so that you may covet it 
as they had coveted, and, then, it may destroy, you as it had 
destroyed them." (Bukhari And Muslim) 

Commentary: The Prophet S had before him the experience of 
some of the earlier people who, when they attained prosperity, 
grew more greedy of worldly possessions and neglectful of the real 
purpose of life with the result that they became envious of each 
other, and were, ultimately, destroyed by their own greediness and 
avidity. The Prophet & regarded it to be the greatest danger for his 
own followers too. In the above Tradition, he has warned them 
against it and advised them to be cautious of the deceptive charm 
and witchery of the material world. 

Riches — The Greatest Mischief 

fa &%\ JU> &j & Jf & cH ^ «S* ( ^ vv/rv) 

(177/37) Ka'b bin 'lyad has related that he heard the Messenger 
of Allah % say: "For every community there is a trial, and the 
trial of my community is wealth." (Tirmidhi) 
Commentary: It shows during the Prophet's S period [which 
began with his raising up and will endure till the end of time] the 
importance of wealth will grow so much and the desire to possess 
it become so excessive that it will prove to be the greatest mischief 
for his followers. [In the Qur'an, too, wealth has been called a 
mischief]- It is evident from history that the lust for worldly 
possessions has been increasing steadily from the time of the 
Prophet 0, and, undoubtedly, it is the greatest mischief of the 
current era which has deprived innumberable bondsmen of the 
Lord of true felicity by leading them on the path of folly and 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

insolent disobedience. Things have gone so far now that even the 
champions of goodlessness and atheism make use of economic 
issues to diffuse and disburse their ideaolgy. 

Love for Wealth and Fame 
is Destructive to Religion 

juit J* i^'jlJL 'j> yu'j ^ujuf o^iu 

(178/38) It is realted by Ka'b ibn Maalik that the Messenger 
of Allah iS§l said: "No two hungry wolves let loose in a flock of 
goats can devour the goats so ravenously as the greed of a man 
for wealth and fame does his faith." (Tirmidhi and Darmi) 

Commentary: It tells that the love for wealth, power and fame is 
more dangerous to faith and piety than a hungry wolf is in the 
midst of goats. 

Love for Wealth And the World Remains 
Undiminshed in Old Age Too. 

(179/39) It is related by Anas that the Messenger of Allah 
0 said: "The Son of Adam grows old [and all his faculties are 
enfeebled], but two attributes of his nature remain young in him, 
namely, desire for wealth and yearning for longevity." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: Man is a prey to countless desires and endless 
aspirations, some of which are positively bad and these can be 
realised only when one is young and has money. It is the duty of 
the intellect to save a man from the unhappy consequences of such 
wishes. But, when due to old age, the intellect, too, fails in strength 
and its hold on the emotions loses its firmness, some of the desires 
develop into a passion and begin to rule over him. Attachment to 
worldly possessions and the desire to have a long life, generally. 

The Book of Sofi-heartedness 1 ' 1 

grow with advancing years. But those who are truely aware of the 
end of this world and have disciplined their inner selves are an 
exception to it. 

(180/40) Abu Hurayral/4& narrated to us that the Messenger of 
Allah 0 said: "The heart of an old man always remains young 
in two respects: love of this world and the distant future." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: As we have seen in the preceding Tradition, 
fondness for the material things of life, generally, grows with age 
but with those who have attained a degree of God-realisation and 
possess a true understanding of this world and the next it is 
different. In them, the love of Allah and yearning for the blessings 
of the hereafter keep developing even in old age and each day of 
their life marks an advance on the previous one in this respect. 

Greed For Amasing Wealth Is Insatiable 

(181/41) It is related by Abdullah ibn Abbas 4i& that the 
Messenger of Allah S said: "Even if the son of Adam 
possesses two fields and two forests full of worldly goods, he 
would like to have a third for only dust fills the belly of the son 
of Adam, [i.e.. his insatiable appetite for wealth will end only in 
the grave], but Allah shows compassion to the bandsman who 
turns to Him in repentance." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: Excessive desire for wealth is a common human 
failing to the extent that if a man's fields and forests are 
overflowing with riches he will still not be satisfied and go on 
wanting an increase in them till the last moment of his life. 

Fondness of wealth ends only with death. There is a special 
favour of the Lord on those who make Him, and not the material 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Pari II 

world, the object of their adoration. Allah grants them contenment 
and they lead a happy and peaceful life here in this world too. 

(182/42) Narrates Anas 4|& that the Holy Porphet H said, "A 
person whose chief aim and ambition will be the seeking of the 
Hereafter, through his effort and exertion. Allah will grant him 
contentment [i.e., tranquillity and freedom from want] to his 
heart and remove his distress and the world will come to him 
humbled by itself. But a person whose chief aim and ambition 
will be the seeking of this world, through his effort and 
exertion, Allah will produce the marks of want in the middle of 
his forehead and on his face and make his condition miserable 
[and peace of the mind will desert him] and, [after all his 
striving], he will get only that much of the world as had been 
ordained for him beforehand." 

[This report has been attributed to Sayyidian Anas in 
Tirmidhi and to Sayyidina Zaid ibn Thabit Ansari 4sk> in 
Musnad Ahmad and Darami.] 

Commentary: Allah's manner of treating the bondsman who, 
believing in the Hereafter, makes it his goal is that He endows his 
heart with contentment and cheerfulness and what has been 
foreordained for him from this world reaches him, one way or the 
other, by itself. On the contrary, whoever make the material world 
his objective, Allah thrusts want and anxity upon him, so that 
people notice the signs of distress on his face and in spite of his 
best efforts, he succeds in obtaining only that much of worldly 
goods and comforts as has been decreed for him beforehand by 
Allah. Such being the case, one should make the life to come the 
true object of his desire, and, considering this world to be nothing 

The Seeker of the Hereafter 

And The Seeker of this World 

The Book of Soft-he artedness 279 

more than a passing need, strive for it only as it is, generally, done 
for a short-lived purpose. 

Real Share in Wealth 

ji jjS jjji jia jri u as 4I1S if flu 5ij ^> ^ 

(1 83/43) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4fr that the Messenger of 
Allah & said: "The bondsman says, 'My*property! My 
property!' though in the whole of his worldly possessions what 
is really his falls only into three catagories: (i) what he has eaten 
and finished up; (ii) what he has worn and made old; and, (iii) 
what lie has given away in charity and made a provision for the 
Hereafter. A part from it, what the bondsman possesses is going 
to be left behind by him for others and he himself shall depart 
from the wolrd one day." (Muslim) 
Commentary: It tells that out of the wealth a man earns or saves 
in this world, only that is really his which he spends on his own 
needs like food and clothing or in the way of Allah, and, thus, 
stores it up for use in the Hereafter. What he possesses, apart from 
it, does not belong to him but to his successors into whose hands it 
is going to pass after his death. 

( ^jbUi oijj ) .>t U Aijtj JUj ^1 U tfU 5li Jl5 AJjtj Jli lyt 4\ 

(1874/44) It is related by Abdullah ibn Mas'ood <*^> that the 
Messenger of Allah S [once] asked, "Who among you is such 
that the propety of his heir be dearer to him than his own [i.e., 
who may prefer wealth not to come into his own hands but into 
the hands of his successors]?" "With all of us," the Companions 
replied, "the case is that we love our own property more than the 
property of our heirs [i.e., none of us will like that, instead of 
him, is successors should come into wealth]." Upon it, the 
Prophet Jft said, "When it is so, know that a man's property is 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part 11 

only that which he sends in advance, and what ever of it he 
keeps back is not his but of his successors [A wsie man should, 
therefore, be more concerned with making his wealth an asset 
for the Herafter than leaving it behind lo his heirs, and the way 
to it is that instead of hoarding gold and silver he spent it on 
charitable works as well]." (Bukhari) 

(185/45) Abu Hurayrah 4& related to us from the Prophet 0 
"When a person dies, the angels ask [him] what had he sent in 
advance for himself [i.e., goods he had done and how much had 
he deposited in the Treasury of Allah for his use in the 
Hereafter?" The common people, on the other hand, enquire 
among themselves what property did he leave behind." (Baihaqi) 

Slaves Of Wealth Deprived of Allah's Mercy 

( 1 86/46) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of 
Allah 0 said: "Devoid of Mercy of the Lord be the slave of the 
world and removed of the mercy of the Lord be the slave of 
dirham." (Tirmidhi) 
Commentary: In this Tradition, displeasure is expressed against 
the slaves who adore wealth, dinar and dirham and Allah's anger 
called down upon them. 

The worship of worldly possessions means to forget the 
injunctions of Allah and to treat casually the distinctions between 
what is lawful and what is otherwise in one's eagerness to obtain or 
possess wealth. 

Not To Trade Or Hoard Wealth 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


(1 87/47) Jubair ibn Nufair relates from the Prophet m, by way 
of irsal', that he said: " It has not been revealed to me by Allah 
that I should hoard wealth and make buying and selling my 
profession, but it has been revealed to me that I should celebrate 
the praise of my Lord and be of those who prostrate before Him 
and keep obeying my Cherisher till the time of death." 

(Sharah As Sunnah) 

Commentary: Trade is not prohibited in Islam. On the other hand, 
a large part of the injunctions of the Shari'ah deal with it and other 
forms of monetary transactions. The Prophet 0, too has praised to 
the traders highly who carry on their business honestly. But the 
special position occupied by the Prophet iH and the nature of the 
mission entrused to him by Allah, demanded that he should not 
engage even in a legitimate profession like trade. Besides, Allah 
had relieved him of anxiety in this respect by endowing his heart 
with the virtues of contentment and total reliance upon His 
Providential care. 

What the Prophet intends to convey here is that he has to apply 
himself single-mindedly to the tasks asssinged to him by Allah, it is 
not his business to carry on trade or to amass wealth. 

Among the followers of the sacred Prophet 0, also, it is the 
ideal state for those who choose for themselves a life of complete 
reliance upon Allah and are prepared to undergo cheerfully the 
trails and hardships that go with it. But for others, it is necessary to 
engage in some lawful economic activity in order to earn a living, 
particularly in the present times. 

Preference Of Poverty 

1 . Sometimes a Taba'ei relates a Tradition but does not mention the name of the 
companion through whom it had reached him. Such a Tradition is called 
Mursal and the act of relating it is called irsa!. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part 11 

( 1 88/48) It is related by Abu U mam ah 4^ that the Messenger of 
Allah m> said: My Lord offered to make the valley of Makkah 
full of gold for me [if I wanted to be rich], but I reaplied, 'I do 
not want it [but prefer for myself such a state of want and 
poverty that] I may eat my fill one day and go without a meal on 
the other so that when I am hungry, I shall be humble to You, 
and when I am satisfied with food, I shall praise You and be 
grateful." (Musnad Ahmad and Tirmidhi) 

Commentary: It shows that the Prophet had voluntarily chosen the 
state of poverty and starvation in which his whole life was spent. 

Most Enviable Bondman 

£fjj» L£\ jii <( JLj JU ^ji j> Xa\+\ 'Js ^ ( uvt <\> 

^3 ipltij Ajj SSCp- ^*J~\ SjLjaJl la>- j i ilAlt UL-i* 

'jLpi ilur iijj jiT) ^j.u>vb jiiJ *i jt liwu- jts*j y~s\ 

(<brbi tf\ j t^JUi ^allj JL»j>-1 «1 j j) 

(1 89/49) It is related by Abu Umamah that the Messenger of 
Allah Hi said: "Among my friends the most enviable, in my 
judgement, is the faithful Believer who is lightly burdened and 
has a large share in prayer, and worships the Lord well and with 
the awareness that is seeing, or is being seen by Him, and 
renders habitual obedience to Him, and does all this secretly and 
not in the open, and remains unknown to fame and the fingers 
are not stretched towards him, and whose sustenance is 
proportionate to his essential needs and he is contented with it." 
The Prophet lH, then, snapped his fingers [as one does to 
express surprise at anything], and said: "Death comes soon to 
him and the women to mourn his loss are few and the lagacy left 
behind by him, also, is little." 

(Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: The above saying of the Prophet Hi means that 
though the states and circumstances of his friends and earnest 
bondsmen of the Lord were different, the most enviable life was of 
the Believr who had very few encumbrances but a special share in 

The Book of Soft-heartedmss 


prayer and other modes of worship and was so little known that 
when he moved about, people did not point out that such and such 
a man was coming and his daily bread was adequate for his needs 
and he was also satisfied with it and when the hours of his death 
struck, he just passed away without leaving behind disputes over 
the division of property or a host of mourners to grieve over his 

Surely, the lives of such people are enviable and, indeed, there 
are such people in the world today. 

Abu Darda's Reply To Wife 

US' u-ifc *i *'^> 15**5' ci5 cJll ftiajUi £i 'J. ( \\ . /o . ) 
Op jiJLuj aJLp .ail JjJj c-*«-> ^il J lis ^^i u-JLiaj 

.o*h cii?tji <^-]£ yjju}\ ujj^j v iSji^" 

( 1 90/50) Umm Darda if* *»i wife of Abu Darda related 
that [oncej she said to her husband, "What is the matter? Why 
do you not make a request for wealth and position as 
such-and-such do?" Abu Darda replied, "I have heard the 
Messenger of Allah siH say: 'Ahead of you lie a difficult valley 
which the heavily burdened shall not be able to cross easily'. 
So, I want to stay light for crossing the valley [and do not ask 
for wealth and position]." (Baihaqi) 

Commentray: Conditions had improved so much during the last 
phase of the Prophet's m> life, and, after him, during the days of the 
first four Caliphs 4^ that goods used to come in from various 
sources and were distributed to the poor and those in want. In the 
same way, many people were appointed to public offices for which 
they recieved a suitable remunertion, and, thereby, it became 
possible for them to live comfortably. But, even at that time, some 
of the Companions ejfa preferred a life of poverty for themselves 
and Abu Darda was one of them. They believed that safety 
against the ordeals of the Judgement Day lay in taking as little a 
share in material comfort as possible and passing, somehow, the 
days allotted to them on earth. The Prophet iH> had told them that 
only those will cross the perilous valleys of the Hereafter safely 


h4eaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

who are lightly burdened in the world while those who will load 
themselves to excess with worldly goods and connections shall 
experience much difficulty. 

Death Of Poverty 

(191/51) It is related by Muhammad bin Labeed that the 
Messenger of Allah HS§I said: "There are two things a man 
dislikes [while there is a lot of good in them for him]: one is 
death, though death is better for a Believer than mischief, and 
the other is few possessions, though few possessions involves 
shorter and lighter [for him] Reckoning of the Hereafter.." 

(Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: Everyone fears death and poverty and wants to 
evade them, though death is a great blessing in the sense that when 
a person dies, he becomes safe from the faith-consuming mischiefs 
of the world and the want of worldly possessions is a great blessing 
because the poor and the indigent will have to render a very brief 
account on the Day of Judgement and they will quickly pass 
though the ordeal. 

Sayings like these can be a souce of great relief to us when we 
are poverty-stricken or suffer a bereavement. 

Most Beloved Of The Lord 

(192/52) It is related by Imran ibn Husain that the Messenger of 
Allah HI said: "Allah loves His believing slave who is poor and 
has a family to support and yet remains pious and right-minded 
(and does not earn unlawfully or tell anyone of his needs). 

(Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: One who keeps away from wrongful and prohibited 
actions in poverty and does not reveal his neediness to others is. 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


indeed, a very brave man and a dearly beloved bondsman of the 

Were they who are caught in indigence and destitution and are 
spending their days in poverty to seek succour and derive a lesson 
from these Traditions of the Prophet and remain patient and 
contented at the life of want and privation decreed for them by 
Allah, as He had preferred for His loved one, the Prophet [Peace 
and Blessings of the Lord be upon him], the torments of neediness 
and starvation would, really, become a source of happiness and 
tranquillity to them. 

Who Hide Their Hunger And Privation 

o* ^ i> &yji & & M J* h& j - ^ j' 

(193/53) It is related by Abdullah ibn Abbas 4k> that' the 
Messenger of Allah iH said: "Whoever is hungry or has any 
other special need and hides his hunger or need from others [i.e. 
does not solicit alms by disclosing his indigence to anyone], it is 
the responsibilty of Allah, the All-Powerful, to provide 
sustenance for him for a year through a lawful means." (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: The phrase, "the responsibility of Allah", occuring 
in the above Tradition means that the Lord, by His Grace, has 
made it His usual practice, and anyone who puts it to test with an 
unflinching faith in His Promise and Beneficence will, Insha Allah, 
see it materialise with his own eyes. 


In the literal sense, zuhd means detachment from anything, 
while, in the Islamic usage, it means indifference to the joys and 
comforts of the world and withdrawal from a life of ease and plenty 
for the sake of the Hereafter. The Prophet ft has, both by word 
and by deed, exhorted his followers to practise Zuhd and pointed 
out numerous benefits in it, both of this world and the next. 

Beloved Of Both, Allah And Man 

(194/54) It is related by Sahl ibn S'ad that [once] a man came to 
the Prophet ft and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Tell me 
something on doing which I may be loved by Allah as well as 
Hi's bondsmen." The Prophet HI said, "Cultivate detachment to 
the world and Allah will love you, and cultivae aloofness 
towards what people possess and men will begin to love you." 

(Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: Fundamentally, it is the attachment to worldly 
possessions which persuades a man to do things that make him 
unworthy of the love of Allah. The way to win the love of Allah, 
therefore, lies in self-denial. When the fondness for the material 
world will end, the heart will open up to Divine love and the 
bondsman will find it easy to submit to the will of Allah and to 
carry out His commands, and, thus, he will become the favourite of 
the Lord. 

Likewise, when people will be convinced that he is not envious 
of their wealth nor has he any desire for worldly goods or position, 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

they will come to like him. 

A Zahid (ascetic) is not a man who practises self-denial for the 
reason that he is not in a position to indulge in material enjoyment 
but one who has a full opportunity to gratify his inclinations and 
desires and yet refuses to do so and cares nothing for worldly gain 
or comfort. It is reported about Abdullah ibn Mubarak that when 
someone called him a Zahid, he retorted, "Zahid was Umar ibn 
Aziz who, in spite of being the Caliph of the day. shunned personal 
gain and worldly pleasures." 

On Keeping Company With Ascetics 

i j^Sii jkj. ih 3 gJto j ittj jJu j£f i $j 141 jtf 

(195/55) It is related by Abu Hurayrah and Abu Khallad that 
the Messenger of Allah $m said: "When you see a person whom 
Allah has endowed with Zuhd, [i.e., the quality of indifference 
and detachment to the world and taciturnity and he keeps his 
tongue safe from vain and foolish talk], seek his company and 
associate habitually with him because Allah has granted him 
wisdom." (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: It means that he preceives the truth correctly and 
speaks only when it is proper and beneficial. His company has the 
touch of alchemy. About wisdom it has been said in the Qur'an. 

He unto whom wisdom is {. e >i 

given, he truly hath recieved 

abundant good. (YT\:Ya^Ji) \"Jjf S'J^ 

(Al-Baqarah 2:269) 

Ready Recompense 

Cilji CS* o^a, j iiLJ t# jkii 3$J> ii&Jf cS\ i\ UilJi J) 

(196/56) It is related by Abu Zarr Ghiffari that the 

The Book of Scft-heartedness 


Messenger of Allah HI said: "The bondsman who practises 
Zuhd surely, Allah will cause wisdom to grow in his heart and 
to flow, also, from his tongue, and He will show him clearly the 
ills and evils of the world, and, then, their treatment, and make 
him reach Heaven by taking him safely out of the world." 


Commentary: From the preceding Tradition we had learnt that 
Allah would communicate wisdom to the bondsman who followed 
the path of Zuhd. In the above saying the same thing has been 
mentioned more explicitly. What has been said in it after the 
assurance that: 

"Allah will cause wisdom to grow in his heart", 

is only in the nature of an elucidation. 

It shows that the frist reward a person who practises ascetisism 
gets directly, in this world, is that the seed of wisdom and 
awareness is sown in his heart, and, then, as a result of it, wisdom 
begans to flow from his tongue and the ailments of the world are 
revealed to him distinctly, along with the ways of overcoming 
them. The other extraordinary recompense is that Allah picks him 
up from the world with his faith and piety unharmed and takes him 
to Paradise which is the home of eternal bliss. 

Chosen Bondsmen 

(197/57) It is narrated by Ma'az ibn Jabal <§^>that when the 
Messenger of Allah sent him to Yemen, he gave him this 
advice. "O Ma'az", he said, "Avoid luxury. The chosen 
bondsmen of Allah are not ease-loving and self-indulgent." 

(Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: Though it is not forbidden to lead a life of ease and 
luxury, it does not befit the worthy bondsmen of the Lord. They 
would better abstain from it. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

O Lord! There is no joy other then the joy of the Hereafter. 

aIIp ill i i Jl4> ill J>^3 J 1 ^ ^j^i ' 

A* Ji ill *e J>-J lil ^ ji' J< (&»3 

ijuii jii ji L>Vij jii j* a i^t jis 4< 

(198/58) Narrates Abdullah ibn Mas'ood 4$£> that the Messenger 
of Allah ^ [once] recited the Qur'anic verse, 

And whomsoever it is Allah's will to guide, He expandeth his 
bosom unto the Surrender. [Al-An'am6:125] 

And, then explaining it, he said, "When light enters the bosom, 
the bosom opens up." He was asked, "O Messenger of Allah! Is 
there a sign from which this state can be recognised?" "Yes", 
the Prophet replied. "To lose interest in the world, which is the 
place of deception, and to develop liking for the Hereafter, 
which is the permanent dwelling place, and to make ready for 
death before it comes [through earnest repentance, abstention 
from sin and abundance of prayers]." (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: It denotes that when Allah decides to bestow the 
gift of distinctive servitude on a bondman, He produces in his heart 
a special light and a characteristic feeling of devoutness. His 
bosom, then, opens up for a life of submission. Detachment from 
the material world and solicitude for the Hereafter along with an 
ardent desire for the attainment of Paradise, become the 
distinguishing features of his existence from which it can be 
deduced that the Divine light had reached him and he *had attained 
the cherished goal of Allah-realisation. 

Righteousness Is Based On Belief And Zuhd 

& k\ JJe Zj^\ $ fa £\ J> jjL*j* (m/M) 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


(199/59) Amr ibn Shu'ayb said on the authority of his father that 
his grandfather reported the Prophet 0 as saying, "The first 
thing which affects the well-being of this people is firm belief 
and Zuhd (asceticism), and the first thing that affects its 
corruption is niggardliness and hope placed in the distant future 
(hope for long life). (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: Two characteristics marked the righteousness and 
success of this people: belief and Zuhd. However, corruption will 
set in on this people with two characteristics: miserliness and a 
desire to live long in this world, and this will be followed by an 
unending sequence of evil and wickedness. Down fall of the people 
will then begin. 

Scholars have explained that the word belief in this hadith 
means a firm belief that whatever one gets in this world and the 
happy or unfortunate life one lives is from Allah and it is His 
decree 1 . 

Zuhd, as we have stated before, means abstinence from the 
world and not regrding its good things as the objective. 

The result of possessing belief and Zuhd is that the person does 
not lag behind in giving his life and possessions in the way of 
Allah. This is the key to progress of a Believer. However, when a 
Believer lacks these things and instead of Allah, he has faith in his 
weath and believes that his progress depends on his wealth then he 
will grow niggardly, surely. Similarly, when he lacks Zuhd and his 
objective is the world then he will cherish a long life. Obvioulsy, 
with these two evil characteristics, he will go on slumping down 
from his true position. 

The Messenger of Allah H has, therefore, stressed that his 
people must develop the noble characteristics of belief and Zuhd 
and shun nigardliness and desire for long life or hope placed in the 
distant future. 

O The following supplications of the Messenger of Allah ^ refer to belief in 
this sense. 

(i) . J c~sf U VI V «ui IjjU Uij jj»L| UJii liL-J ^1 ^Ul 

(ii) . U Jjl eJUw *i ijfU jJQl jM U ^Jl pJjUl 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Islamic Asceticism 

i $ gin j siiijji ^jj juii j^Ji ^.j^i c^J 

(200/60) It is related by Abu Zarr Ghiffari <4&> that the Prophet 
said: "Zw/k/ in realation to the world and detachment from 
what it has to offer, [which is wholly a spiritual state], is not the 
name of making for yourself unlawful what is allowed and 
destroying your goods, but its real requirements that you place 
greater reliance upon what is with God and His control than 
upon what is with you and in your control. And when you 
undergo a disagreeable experience or suffer a calamity, the 
ardour and yearning for the reward of the Hereafter is greater 
than the wish that it may not have happened [to you] at all." 

(Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: A common misconception about Zuhd is that a man 
should deem all the good things of life forbidden to himself: he 
should neither eat delicious food nor drink cold water nor wear 
expensive clothes nor sleep on a soft bed, and if he received some 
money from anywhere, he should quickly part with it. The Holy 
Prophet £§l has removed the mistaken idea in the above Tradition 
by telling that Zuhd did not mean that one made unlawful for 
oneself the bodily pleasures Allah had declared as leginimate for 
his Bondsmen and did away with the money that might come to his 
hand but that a man should not rely upon what he possessed or 
controlled in this world, believing that it was wholly transitory and 
perishable, and put his trust in the hidden and everlasting treaures 
of the Almighty and in His providential care, and its other test and 
indication was that when a suffering or distress overtook him, the 
longing for the reward on it in the Hereafter was stronger than the 
wish that he would have been left untouched by it, i.e., instead of 
desiring that the misfortune had not reached him, he felt in his 
heart that the recompense he would recieve on it in the Hereafter 
would be thousand times better than the affliction had stayed away. 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


Such a state can, evidently, be attained only when the yearing for 
the joy of the Hereafter is greater than the desire of worldly 
comfort — and this is what Zuhd, basically, signifies. 

It must, however, not be imagined that in place of comfort and 
well-being, people should wish and pray to Allah for pain and 
suffering in the present existence. A clear interdiction against it is 
contained in a number of Traditions. The Prophet & always 
exhorted the Companions & to beseech Allah only for comfort and 
well-being and the same was his own practice. 

The purport of Abu Zarr's report, thus, is not, at all, that the 
bondsman should long for grief or misfortune in the present world. 
What it simply shows is that when a loss or distress might befall 
him, he should, as a truthful Believer and a genuine ascetic, attach 
greater importance to the reward he was going to get on it in the 
future world than to the feeling that it should have not reached him 
at all. The difference between the two states needs to be 
understood clearly. 

Prophet' s Liking For Poverty 

(201/61) It is related by Anas that the Prophet % made this 
supplication: "O Allah! Keep me alive in the state of the 
indigence, and raise me from the world in the state of indigence, 
and let me be in the company of those that are indigent." 

(Tirmidhi and Baihaqi) 

Commentary: We have seen in the preceding pages that when 
Allah asked the Prophet S if the valley of Makkah be filled with 
gold for him, the Prophet S replied, "No, my Lord! What I like is 
that I may eat my fill on one day and go without a meal on the 

The Prophet % had purposely chosen a life of poverty for 
himself which was also the inclination of his enlightened inner self. 
It is indisputable that no other pattern of living could be more 
suited to the lofty position he occupied and the noble task he had to 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

preform. Should the Lord grant contentment and submission to 
anyone, it is, generally, preferable for him from the viewpoint of 
Faith and the Hereafter to lead an existence of want and indigence 
instead of plenty and prosperity. 

j ^kji rtjJ) iur ^33 ^ j $ ^ j| jif., ^ j j 

(202/62) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4k that the Prophet S 
[often] used to pray: "O Allah! Bestow upon the dependants of 
Muhammad only as much of provision as is necessary to sustain 
llfe -" (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: In the literal sense, the word Aal [used in the above 
Tradition] means, household members also dependants, but in the 
present Tradition it, apparently, denotes the household members. 
Hence, we have, here, translated it as such. 

Both Quwat and Kafaf, occuring in the original Arabic text, 
signify that the provision should be only as much as was necessary 
to keep the business of living going. It neither be so meagre as to 
make it difficult for the bondsman to attend to his duties due to 
hunger or mental distress or compel him to extend a begging hand 
before others nor so abundant that he may hoard and preserve it for 
future need. 

Not Even Barely Bread 

(203/63) It is related by Sayyidah Ayeshah i^ii "The 
members of the Prophet's $i household never ate even barley 
bread to their satisfaction for two consecutive days up to the 
time when he was taken in death." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: It shows that in the Prophet's 0 lifetime it never 
happened that his family would have eaten even barley bread to 
their satisfaction for two days consecutively. If they ate a full meal 
on one day they had to starve on the other. 

The Book of Soft- he arte dness 


^ fa «2* in y» jiij jft s^ol £us 

(204/64) Sa'eed Maqburi narrates on the authority of Abu 
Hurayrah ^k> that, once, he [Abu Hurairah] came across some • 
people who had a roasted goat before them. They invited Abu 
Hurairah to join them but he declined, saying, "[what pleasure 
can this meal have for me when I know that] the Prophet 
departed from the world without ever having had a full meal of 
barley bread." (Bukhari.) 

Unparalleled Persecution 

jj» b'Jti cJ\ liij JU-t ish'£ iij in j> cJiji Jiiij i^-i t3b*J Uj 
L\ cj'i is i&i jto j^jj ^ uj c i 3 *tf ^; 

(205/65) It is related by Anas 4^> that the Messenger of Allah 
Hi said: "I was threatened in the path of Allah as no one had 
been threatened, and I was tortured in the path of Allah as no 
one had been tortured, and, once, thirty days and nights passed 
when there was nothing for me and Bilal to eat, which a living 
sou! could, except, what Bilal had hidden under his armpit." 


Commentary: The Prophet H narrated this incident of his life to 
impress upon his followers that he had to endure unparalled pain 
and presecution in the cause of Faith but he cared nothing for the 
threats and extreme curelty of his enemies and discharged his 
duties with unswerving singleness of purpose. An instance of the 
privations he suffered was that once he had to go without food for 
a full month and ate nothing save what Bilal had concealed under 
his armpit. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Oven Not Lighted For Months 

jjiji ii -afi iuiij jii otfji* ci^i ffiff 6ir u ciii 

(206/66) It is narrated about Sayyidah Ayshah L^-ii^j that she 
said to Urwah: "My nephew! We [the members of Prophet's 0 
family] [spent our days thus that] sometimes we saw three 
successive moons [i.e., full two months elapsed] and the oven 
was not lit in houses." [Urwah relates that, upon it he asked], 
"How did you remain alive?" Ayshah 4* M ^ replied, "[We 
lived] on dates and water. Indeed, there were a few Ansar 
neighbours of Prophet 0 who had some milch cattle. They sent 
him milk as a gift and he used to give some of it to us also." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: They lived in such tight circumstances that the 
oven was not lit in their houses for two consecative months. They 
had nothing in their house to cook and lived on dates, water, and 
milk sent to them by their Ansar neighbors. (Ansar were the 
Muslims of Madinah who had welcomed the Prophet $1 and the 
Muslim emigrants of Makkah). 

Continuous Hunger 

y£ frii* UjMj -ijl^ yiitij jk jdji 

(207/67) Abdullah bin Abbas 4sh narrates "Several nights were 
spent by the Prophet £H in such a condition that he and the 
members of his family remained without a meal because they 
had nothing to eat in the night, and [when they ate], their 
dinner, generally, consisted of barley bread alone." (Tirmidhi) 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


The Prophet's Mail Was Mortgaged With A Jew 

Ujij (Jbj J^ 1 J$ ^ & (Y ,AAA) 

(208/68) It is related by Sayyidah Ayshah i**ii^> "The 
Messenger of Allah S died in such a state that his coat of mail 
was mortgaged with a jew for 30 Sa's of barley." (Bukahri.) 
Commentary: According to the commentators, a Sa' is equal to 
about VA seers. Thus, 30 Sa's would make nearly 2 l A maunds. 

The object here is to show at what level of want and neediness 
the Prophet's 0 household subsisted, even during the last days of 
his life when almost the whole of Arabia had come under his sway. 

The wisdom of borrowing from a Jew when there lived a 
number of Muslims in Madinah from whom such small loans could 
be taken at the time of need, perhaps, was that: 

(i) The Prophet 0 did not want his friends and followers to 
know his need for, then, instead of lending the money [or any other 
commodity], they would have liked to give it as a gift and it would 
have imposed a burden upon them. Besides, to ask them for a loan 
in this way could have amounted to a request or solicitation. 

(ii) The Prophet S wanted to avoid the smallest trace of 
suspicion that he desired a return, in any form, from those who had 
acquired the wealth of Faith through him. 

(iii) Such transactions with non-Muslims would have led to the 
growth of friendly relations with them and paved the way for those 
people to know the Prophet S intimately and to observe his 
character and moral disposition from close quarters. They would, 
thus, have been enabled to reap the fruits of Faith and earn the 
countenance of the Lord. Results like that did ensue. It is, for 
instance, reported in Mishkat, on the authority of Imam Baihaqi's 
Dalel-un-Nabuwat, about a wealthy Jew of Madina that the 
Prophet S had borrowed some moeny from him. When he came to 
demand the payment of debt, the Prophet $& expressed his inability 
as he had no money with him at that time but the Jew was adamant. 
He refused to go away without receiving the debt, and sat down 
and did not move from there till a whole day and a whole night 
passed, and the Prophet H, during that time, offered the prayers of 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Zuhr, 'Asr, Maghrib and 'Isha in his presence. Some of the 
Companions i&> were greatly annoyed at it and they also secretly 
used threats to persuade the Jew to leave the place but when the 
Prophet 0 came to konw about it, he remarked, "I have been 
commanded by Allah that there should be no injustice and 
unfairness as regards a contract." On hearing it, the Companions 
i$s> became silent. After some time the Jew said that, acutually, he 
had not come to demand the payment but wanted to see whether 
the Prophet S possessed the signs and qualities stated in the 
Torah about the messenger of Allah who was going to be raised up 
during the Last Phase and he had realised and become convinced 
that the sacred Prophet was the promised one. Upon it, the Jew 
recited the Kalimah and placing his entire wealth before the 
Prophet H said, "All of my goods are here. Now, decide about 
them according to your guidance and spend them in whatever way 
you like." 1 

Lying on a Mat 

£si> u dis .ia ssu-j u^i 

^ji jutti #3 ^3 ^ JL5 jijjftj j.jii y Jstf y* 

(209/69) Narrates Umar ^ "I went to the Prophet A and saw 
that he was lying on a mat made of the leaves of the date-palm, 
and there was no bedding between him and the mat, and the 
texture of the mat had left deep marks on his body, and under 
his head was placed a leather pillow stuffed with the bark of the 
date-tree. On seeing it, I said, Messenger of Allah Si Pray to 
Allah to grant prosperity to your followers. He has bestowed 
riches upon the people of Rome and Persia even though they are 
not Believers." The Prophet S replied, "O son of Khattab! Do 
you also think like that? They are the people [who have been 
© Mishkat: Baab Fil Ikhlaq-o-Shamail. 

The Book ofSoft-heancciness 


deprived of the blessings of the Hereafter owing to their 
heathenish and ungodly ways], and, hence, the comforts [Allah 
wanted to confer upon them] have been granted to them in this 
world." [In another version of the same Tradition it is said that 

Commentary: It hurt Sayyidina Umar «*^> to see the Prophet HH 
spending his days in conditions of suffering and poverty, and he, 
naturally, wished that Allah granted him prosperity so that he did 
not have to bear all that hardship. But since he knew that the 
Prophet ill would not pray for wealth and worldly possessions for 
himself, he requested to supplicate Allah for his followers, and, at 
the same time, suggested that worldly riches were such an ordinary- 
thing that Allah had bestowed them even upon in fidels like the 
Romans and Persians. Why would he, then not grant them to the 
Prophet's followers if he prayed'? The Prophet's iH> expressed 
surprise at it, and, by way of an admonition, said to Sayyidina 
Umar, "Are you still so unaware as to talk like that? With the 
pagans and the unbelievers like Romans and the Persians the 
matter is that they have no share in the life of the Hereafter which 
is what really counts. So, the joys and comforts Allah wanted to 
bestow upon them have been granted to them in the present 
existence. To be envious of their material pleasures is, therefore, 
unworthy of one who has realised the truth. You ought to be eager 
only for the Hereafter where you have to live forever. This world is 
but a temporary resting-place. Comfort or discomfort here has no 

Sleeps on a Mat Like a Traveller 

(210/70) Abdullah ibn Mas'ood 4& related to us that the 
Prophet ijl [once] slept on a mat of date-palm leaves, [and] 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

when he got up the marks of the mat could be seen on his body. 
Upon it, he said, "Messenger of Allah iHl If you allow, I can 
arrange for a bed." The Prophet replied, "What have I to do 
with the comforts of this world? I am not connected with the 
world more than the traveller who sits, for a short while, under 
the shade of a tree, and, then, gets up and leaves for his 
destination." (Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: The substance of the above saying is that the 
position of th Prophet ill as regards the world was like that of the 
traveller who did not deem it necessary to make arrangements for 
his comfort during the brief halt he made under the shade of a tree 
and had no other worry than to reach his destination. In fact, the 
condition of anyone to whom the reality of this world and of the 
Hereafter becomes evident cannot be different. To plan and 
prepare, on a larger scale, for bodily ease and enjoyment for the 
temporary stay here in this world will appear to him to be utterly 
foolish and purposeless. 

Weath Is A Blessing If. 

As we have pointed out already, only the wealth which breeds 
Allah-forgetfulness and indifference towards future existence is 
bad and perncious, but if a man, by the grace of Allah, makes his 
worldly possessions a means of seeking the good pleausre of the 
Lord and gaining the entry into Paradise, these are a great blessing 
and a divine gift. The Traditions we are now going to discuss deal 
with the same truth. 

U Uii *Uyi 'iJ^J fi*J J Ul£ lt^ 8 

(211/71) A Companion of the Prophet % has related "A few of 
us were sitting together and the Messeger of Allah iH came. 
There was a trace of water on his head [i.e., it appeared that he 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


had just taken a bath]. So, one of us said, 'O Messengr of Allah! 
We feel you are in very good spirits at the moment.' 'Yes, by the 
grace of Allah, it is so', the Prophet replied. We, then, began to 
talk about weatlh [i.e., weather it was good or bad, and harmful 
or beneficial for the Hereafter to possess it]. The Prophet, 
thereupon, remarked, 'There is no harm in being rich for one 
who fears Allah, and for the virtuous good health is better than 
wealth, and tranquillity of the heart, too, is a Divine favour [for 
which one should grateful to the Lord] .' (Musnad-Ahmad) 

Commentary: It denoes that if material prosperity is accompanied 
by righteouseness and the fear of Allah and willing obsevance of 
His commands, it is not harmful for Faith. On the contarary, with 
Allah's favour, worldly possessions, in that case can be a source of 
spiritual advancement and elevation of ranks in the Hereafter. For 
example, the wealth of Sayyidina Uthman 4§&, which he spent 
freely in the way of Allah, had a good deal of share in his spiritual 
eminence. It was on such occassions that choicest tidings about 
him were given by the Prophet iH. It is, however, evident that piety 
does not, generally, go with wealth. In a majority of cases the 
wealthy go on the wrong track. 

(212/72) It is related by Sa'd 4§& that the Messenger of Allah ft 
said: "Allah loves the pious rich man who [in spite of his piety 
and wealth] is inconspicuous. (Muslim) 

Commentary: The word 'inconspicuous' here denotes a person 
about whom it is, generally not known that besides being rich he is 
also pious and pure in heart. The bondsman is whom all the three 
qualities are present — that is, he is rich, pious and unkown to 
fame — at the same time, is a favourite of the Lord. 

Obtaining Wealth For Virtuous Ends 

Lit fa JU h 'Sy>> jtf y> ^ j* cn r/vr*) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

(21 3/73) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of 
Allah m said: "Whoever seeks to obtain wealth by legitimate 
means [and] with the object that he may not have to beg from 
others and can provide his depandants with the necessities and 
pleasant conditions of life, as well as lend a helping hand to 
neighbours will appear before Allah, on the Day of Judgement, 
in such glory that his face will be radiant like a full moon. And 
whoever seeks, through by legitimate means, to obtain wealth 
with the object that he may become very rich and can give 
himself freely before others and be able to practice liberality in 
order to win the admiration of men will appear before Allah in 
such a state that He will be severely displeased with him." 


Commentary: It shows that the earning of wealth by lawful means 
and for a worthy purpose is not only .permissible but a virtue of 
such a high order that there will be a special favour of the Lord on 
him on the Judgement Day due to which his face will shine like the 
full moon. But if the aim and purpose of obtaining wealth may only 
be to become rich and important and to make an ostentatious 
display of one's prosperity, even if it is earned fairly and honestly, 
it will be so sinful that God will be very angry with such a 
bondsman on the Day of Requital. Ill-gotten wealth, in any case, is 
a curse of the highest degree. 

j^i pfiirfj ^fi £tf p> 

vi^3^i^^^v3^^#ju^ : u^^ 
#3 \&*k\ £5 i\ tiLs *jg X* ^ t 3 \y> i#'i>i mi] 

3 tftf ' k\ iljj xj. Jj Aiuj % riiji uJi jia e3&^ii ^j^i &&\ 

jiJ'w \x$ a til j^; 3 4^.5 jl^: 3 £3 4j ^ 3^ uie 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


, uIp tiYji iJj *$\*' &\ 4*35 j*"^ J - *** cJL*J 

•,1 )J sk j£ ^ * j ■sfc <^ ^ ^5 J 3^ ^ 

(214/74) It is related by Abu Kabshah el-Anmari that he heard 
the Messenger of Allah iH say; "There are three things which 1 
swear to be true and, in addition to them, there is another thing 
which I want to tell you. So, remember it. The three things 
which I swear to be true are: (i) No one will become poor by 
spending in the way of Allah [i.e., Allah will bestow prosperity 
on him and multiply his wealth]; (ii) When a man is wronged 
and he remains patient, Allah will raise him esteem in return for 
it [i.e., when a wrong is prepetrated on a person and he bears it 
patiently, Allah will cause an increase in his high rank and good 
reputation]; and (iii) No one will open the door of begging but 
Allah will open the door of poverty for him [i.e., whoever will 
make it his habit to extend a begging hand toward others will be 
condemned to want and indigence by Allah].The thing that I 
want to tell you and which you should remember, apart from 
these, is that there are four types of men in this world, (i) One 
whom Allah has granted wealth as well as the knowledge of the 
correct way of life and he fears Allah in the expenditure and 
utilisation of his wealth and shows kindness to relatives by 
means of it and spends it in the way it ought to be done for the 
good pleasure of the Lord. This person is of the highest station, 
(ii) The slave whom Allah has endowed with correct knowledge 
[and the right spirit] but was not given wealth; his intention is 
sound and he [honestly] feels and says that if he had wealth, he, 
too, would spend and utilise it as virtuous man does. The 
recompense of both these men is equal [i.e., people of the 
second catagory will be rewarded in the same way as those of 
the first due to the purity of their intention], (iii) The slave 
whom Allah has given wealth but not the knwoledge [and spirit] 
of using and spending it properly; he spends his wealth foolishly 
and in wrong ways and without the fear of Allah, and does not 
show kindness to relatives through his wordly possessions nor 
spends as he ought to spend. These are the worst kind of men. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

(iv) The slave whom Allah gave neither wealth nor right 
knowledge [and spirit]; he says that if they had weatlh, he, too, 
would spend it as one wasteful and self-indulgent man does. 
Such is their intention and the sin of both these types of men is 
equal [i.e., the fault of the people of the last catagory will be 
identical, due to their evil intention, to what is of the poeple 
belonging to the third catagory owing to their misdeeds]. 


Commentary: The meaning of the above Tradition has been 
explained in the course of the translation. It is, however, necessary 
to bear in mind that the intention of evil conduct which has been 
condemned here as equivalent to the evil conduct itself belongs to 
the class of resolve and determination, i.e., the bondsman may be 
eager and bent upon committing a sin but cannot do so owing to an 
incapability or lack of opportunity. When the intention of a person 
is of that degree, it will amount to the commission of the sin and 
will be deserving of punishment in the same way as the 
transgression upon which his heart is set. 

It is Istedraj 

pt £i3J£.i uSu iL*te 'j* jgai j> ' k 
Ci\y\ ^ u^l 44 \y/} u s'y^j ilu (JLj Ju>> j 

(-U^ 1 a'jj) 6 j-^P (** ^ 1*4^' 0*3' tyj fy J** 

(21 5/75) It is related by Uqbah ibn 'Amir 4s& that the Messenger 
of Allah HI said: "When you see that Allah confers His favour 
upon someone who desires it [like wealth, honour and comfort] 
in spite of his evil conduct, know that, for him, it is Istidraj.' 
After saying that, the Prophet m recited the following verse of 
the Qur'an: 

1' 1* * ill. *' "i "iA ' i"". ' »i' .' ''I .' >>■ *T f 
U_» lit ^ ^lA y\ p$A£. b^isi «U tj^Ti U \ j-J Uii 

{liW^M^) ^ j-Uyi j»Jfc iilS 45ju ^U^ll jjjI 

Then, when they forgot that where of they had been reminded. 
We opened unto them the gates of all things till, even as they 
O. A trail prescribed by Allah for testing the faith of His servants. 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


were rejoicing in that which they were given. We seized them 
unawares, and lo, they were dumbfounded. [Al-An'am6:44] 


Commentary: lstidraj is among the laws of Allah that are 
operative in the world and according to it He directs the affairs of 
individuals and communities. It denotes that when a defiant person 
(or group) exceeds the limits of intransigence, Allah, out of 
extreme displeasure, occasionally, gives him rope, and the door of 
boons blessings is opened for him so that he may go ahead with 
sinfulness, and, then, receive the severest chastisement. In the 
usage of Islam, it is called lstidraj. 

The above Tradition, thus, tells us that if we see a person or 
group of persons that has completely forgotten Allah and their life 
is soaked in sensuality and wickedness and yet various Divine 
favours are being conferred upon them and they enjoy all the 
pleasant conditions of life then we should not be misled into 
believing that Allah is bestowing His blessings upon them as a 
mark of good pleasure. He is only giving them a free scope, and 
their consequences will be terrible. 

Do Not Be Envious of The 
Prosperity of An Evil Doer 

(2 1 6/76) Abu Hurayrah relates that the Messenger of Allah 
Hi said: "You should never be envious of an evil-doer [an 
infidel or a pervert] because of a blessing or prosperity. You do 
not know what suffering he is going to endure after death. At 
Allah's place [i.e., in the Hereafter] there is a killer for him that 
will not die." [The narrator, Abdullah ibn Abi Maryam who 
related it, on the authority of the Abu Hurayrah, says that] "by 
'killer' the Prophet meant the Fire of Hell [i.e., the evil-doer is 
going to live in Hell forever]. [To be envious of such a man is 
rank foolishness and ignorance]." (Baghwi) 

Commentary: Often when a truthful Believer, who is spending his 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

days in pain and poverty, sees some wicked and godless person 
surrounded with comfort and luxuries, the devil puts various 
doubts into his heart, or, at least, he begins to feel envious of his 
happy circumstances. But it is the height of ingratitude to Allah. 
The Prophet 0 is this Tradition, has warned that no believing 
person should grudge the shortlived happiness and prosperity of 
those who are devoid of the blessing of Faith and good-doing 
because, after all, they are going to undergo the torment of Fire in 
the Hereafter. If the bitter end which is awaiting those unfortunate 
men can be known, the material comfort and physical pleasures 
they are enjoying will appear to be no better than the special 
consideration that is shown to those who are sentenced to death a 
few days before their execution. This, excatly, is the natue of the 
propsperity and bodily enjoyment of the rebels against Allah in the 
sight of the bondsmen who are blesed with faith in the reality of 
the Hereafter, as related by the Prophet f%Ji ^U. They do not 
view with envy their wealth and comfort but are thankful to Allah 
that by endowing them with Faith He has saved them from the 
frightful chastisement that is in store for the impudent slaves of the 

The humble writer has known faithful bondsmen who, on 
seeing godless men of the world, spontaneously recited 
supplication of gratitude and thankfulness of the Lord the scared 
Prophet 0 used to make when he saw anyone in distress: 

Praise be to Who has saved me ^ .fo ^ ^ ^ 
from that with which He hath ' ^ ' 
afflicted thee, and made me J^f ^Ip ^^Uaij *j O^A-sJl 
better than many of His 

creatures. As-^c^-j^f 

Consider No One Lowly Because Of Poverty 

The Book of Soft-he artedness 


* 6' 613 v'ji ^ jij "i s-^- o! 

(217/77) Sahl bin Sa'ad 4k> narrated that once a person [who, 
perhaps, came from the class of the rich and the distinguished] 
passed in front of the Prophet ft. [On seeing him], the Prophet 
HI asked one of those who were sitting with him at that time 
what he thought of him. He replied, "He is one of the most 
respectable men. Such is his eminence that if he makes an offer 
of marriage to the daughter of any family, it will be accepted 
and she will be married to him, and if he makes a 
recommendation in any matter, it will be granted." At this reply, 
the Prophet ft kept quiet and did not say anything. After some 
time, another bondsman of the Lord passed by and the Prophet 
ft asked the some person again, "What do you think of Him?" 
He replied, "O Messenger of Allah! He is one of the weak and 
indigent Muslims. He is such a man that if he makes own offer 
of marriage anywhere, it will be rejected, and if he makes a 
recommendation in any matter, it will be turned down, and if he 
wants to say any thing, it will not be heard." The Prophet ft, 
thereupon, said, "This man is better than a whole world full of 
men like the other." (Bukari and Muslim) 

Commentary: Generally, material prosperity and worldly 
emnience are considered to be the criterion of greatness and people 
are impressed by them while those who are not rich and influential 
are looked down upon as lowly however good and noble they may 
be from the moral and spiritual point of view. The above saying is 
aimed at removing the folly. 

It is quite possible that the person who was sitting with the 
Prophet ft and with whom he was talking, at that time, was, also, 
a victim of it and the Prophet ft spoke to him in that manner to 
correct him. 

Commentators have opined and the words of the Tradition also 
show that both the persons who passed by were Muslims but with 
the difference that the one to went past first was superior in wealth 
and position but inferior in faith and piety while the other was 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

superior in faith and piety but inferior financially and in social 
rank. It was because of it that the Prophet ft remarked that if the 
likes of the first mentioned were so numerous that the earth was 
filled with them, the poor and the needy bondsman who passed 
later would by himself be better and nobler than the whole of them. 

(21 8/78) It is related by Abu Hurayrah <*g& that the Messenger of 
Allah ft said: "Many among those whose hair are dishevelled 
and bodies covered with dust and who are pushed away from 
the door [due to their apparent wretchedness occupy such a lofty 
place in the sight of the Lord] that if they vow in the name of 
. Allah, He surely, will fulfil the vow." (Muslim) 

Commentary: It shows that no one should be scorned at or 
rejected as inferior because of his unkempt and unitdy condition. 
Some of them attain a position of such nearness and preference 
with the Lord, by effacing themselves for His sake, that if, relying 
upon Him, they swear about a thing that it will or will not be that 
way, Allah does not put them to shame and makes it happen 

It is worth remembering that the object of the above Tradition 
is not to encourage squalor and untidiness, as some people 
imagine. From the Prophet's ft sayings and other biographical 
accounts it is clear that he, generally, like to be near and clean and 
advised others, also, not to be dirty and ill-clad. When he saw 
anyone going to the extreme of self-denial and wearing dirty and 
tattered cloths and caring nothing for his appearance, he reproved 
him sternly. This Tradition is intended merely to give a warning 
advice to those who regard the poor and destitute bondsmen of the 
Lord as despicable and do not want to mix with them due to 

The Book of Soft-he arte dness 


Blessedness Of The Weak And Indigent 

% 3 5j>^ > faj 4? & J+M A^j J** 

(219/79) Mus'ab ibn Sa'd relates "My father, Sa'ad, thought that 
[because of the exceptional qualities of courage, generosity and 
wisdom Allah had endowed him with] he was of a higher rank 
[than the weak and indigent Muslims who were inferior to him 
in those respects]. Thus, [in order to cure him of this failing] the 
Prophet iH [said to him], 'The help that comes to you from 
Allah and the favours you receive [are not due to your own 
virtues or capabilities] but to the prayers and auspiciousness of 
such among you as are weak and poor'." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: Sayyidina Sa'd's assumption was a kind of vanity 
and in order to remove which, the Prophet 0 told him that it was 
because of the prayers and blessedness of those whom he 
considered mean and of less value that Allah was bestowing upon 
him all those things of which he was proud. Even, today, people 
like us who have been faovoured with certain capabilities by Allah 
and are also rendering some service in the cause of Faith suffer 
from the same weakness. 

In another version of the above Tradition, reproduced in NasaL 
the Prophet s§? is reported to have observed: 

Allah helps this [the Muslim} ' ^. affi »jfcfo^uS 

community by reason of the v - ^ 

prayers, supplications and ^fi^\ j ^f jLpj ptf'jzXi 

earnestness of the weaker 

sections of it." 

Lookat An Inferior Not at A Superior 

>J lit fa fa JJ^fa J15 Jll 3>:> ^ (Y Y . /A . ) 

(220780) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messeger of 
Allah isll said: "Whenever anyone of you sees a person who is 
better than him in wealth and in face and figure, [and due to it. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

jealousy is aroused in his heart], he should look at someone who 
is inferior to him in these respects [so that instead of being 
envious he should learn to be patient and grateful]." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 
Commentary: It is a common weakness with us that when we see 
anyone in a better position than ourselves we feel jealous of him 
and look grudgingly at his affluence and other opportunities. In this 
Tradition it has been prescribed as a cure for this spiritual malady 
that on such an occasion we should think of those who are interior 
to us in these respcets and instead of bearing a grievance against 
fate, be grateful to Allah that He made us better than so many of 
His bondsmen. 

J 'J* & Jtf (JLij *Jp 
tj i/Li' Ai 4& ^' & £ti u o-3 is> > ^ yi ^ 

(221/81 ) 'Amr ibn Shu'ayb narrates on the authority of his 
father, Shu'ayb. and he on the authority of his grandfather, 
'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al'Aas <3$g>, that the Messenger of Allah 
Hi said: "Whoever will possess these two qualities Allah will 
write him down as among those that are patient and grateful. 
[The two qualities are that] in religious matters he habitually 
looks at those who are better than him and tries to emulate their 
example, and in worldly matters he habitually looks at the needy 
and distressed who are inferior to him materially and feels 
thankful to Allah that, by His grace, He has granted more of 
worldly blessings to him than to those bondsmen. And whose 
condition is such that in religious matters he habitually looks at 
those who are inferior to him, and in worldly matters at those 
who are superior to him and feels sorrow and resentment at the 
material comforts and pleasures that have been withheld from 
him, he will not be written down by Allah as among those that 
are patient and grateful." (Tirmidhi) 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


Commentary: Gratitude and patient preserverance are the two 
aspects of devoutness which lead to the perfection of Faith when 
they come together in anyone. The way to cultivate thee qualities, 
and their test, is that the bondsman should, customarily, look at 
those, in religious matters, who are better than him [in Faith, action 
and moral virtues] and follow their example, and, in worldly 
matters, at those who are inferior to him from the material point of 
view and, believing that the superiority he enjoys over them in the 
sphere of comforts and attainments is solely due to Allah's favour, 
feel sincerely thankful to his Lord and Master. 

Virtuous Life 

iJUi- ii^j o'jU- Jlt> Jll ? ^tJl & Jll iUi- fl^-c- Jlt> 

(222/82) Abu Bakr narrates that someone said lo the 

Prophet £H, "O Messneger of Allah! Who is better among men 
[i.e., what kind of a man will be successful in the Hereafter]?" 
The Prophet iH replied, "He who lived long and did good 
deeds." The same person, then, asked, "Who is bad to a greater 
degree among men [i.e., what kind of a man will be a loser in 
the Hereafter]?" The Prophet S replied, "He who lived long 
and did evil deeds." (Musnad-i -Ahmad) 

Commentary: The longer a person who leads a virtuous life lives, 
the more will he develop to a higher religious state. In a similar 
way, the bondsman whose deeds are such as to make him removed 
from Allah will go on incurring His displeasure as hecontinues to live. 

iu^-yj Ay* a»'Ai u>s ijiil JU ^Ji jia 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

(223/83) Ubayd ibn Khalid narrates that once the Prophet % 
established "brotherly relationship" between two persons [i.e., 
declared them to be brothers according to the custom of the 
age]. It so happened, soon afterwards, that one of them was 
martyred in Jihad and the other, too, died after a week of that. 
The Companions i& offered the funeral prayers at the latter's 
death. The Prophet H, then, asked the Companions c^> who 
had observed the burial service, "What did you say [in the 
funeral prayer?" The Companions 4* replied, "We prayed that 
Allah may forgive his sins and have mercy on him and make 
him join his brother [so that they may live toghether in I leaven 
as they did in the world]". On hearing it, the Prophet H 
remarked, "And where did the prayers go which he offered after 
the prayers of the martyred brother? And where did the good 
deeds go that he performed after the good deeds of the martyed 
brother?" [Or, the Prophet H said something to the effect that 
where did the fasts go that he kept after the fasts of his martyred 
brother?" [The narrator is not sure whether the Prophet £§l 
mentioned, 'good deeds, after 'prayers' or 'fasts']. The Prophet 
H, then, said, "The difference between the stations of the two 
is even greater than that between the heavens and the earth." 

(Abu Dawood and Nasai) 
Commentary: The Companions 4e> considered the brother who 
had died later to be of a lower rank than the one who had attained 
martyrdom in Jihad, and, that was why, they prayed that Allah 
might join him with the martyred brother in Heaven. But the 
Prophet S told them that it was just the opposite of it and the 
brother who had died a natural death had gained a much more 
elevated position owing to the supplications he had offered, the 
fasts he had kept and the other good deeds he had performed after 
the martyrdom of his brother. 

To lay down one's life in the path of Allah is, doubtlessly, an 
act of a very high order but the advance and improvement effected 
through prayer, fasting and other virtuous deeds, provided that 
these are endued with earnestness, is also unlimited. 

Besides, since the brother who died later was also a soldier of 
Allah, ever-willing to sacrifice his lite in His path, he, too, had, 
because of the purity of his intention and eagernesss for 

The Book of ' Soft-heartedness 3 1 3 

martyrdom, attained the state of martyrdom though he had died on 
his bed, and the acts of worship and other good deeds he had 
performed after the death of his martyred brother had produced 
such an elevation in his ranks that the sacred Prophet described the 
difference between their stations in the Hereafter to be even greater 
than between the earth and the sky. 

JU» ^Jl jJl &S 'Jj ja \Ji Ci\ flft jj 4>H ±* j* (Y Y i/A i) 

^ p^J ^ *&&y&* J 1 * 

dJuJi 6U «i i^ililS 3^ ^3^ ^ l L 6 ^'" ^ (**^' 

c^Ji c-fo aly i j ft&i cJi> ki^ jil jis 'J* 
tffc a ^3 tfti A*\$ 

V J£]li o^ji JUii a^p ill jU ^ o/Ii 

(J^laljj) it^3 

(224/84) It is related by Abdullah ibn Shaddad that three men 
from the tirbe of Bani Uzra came to the Prophet x|l enqired 
[from the companions], "Who can take the responsibility of 
looking after the needs of these fresh Muslims on my behalf?" "1 
will," said Abu Talha. The three [persons], thus, began to live 
with him. In the meantime, one of them joined an expedition 
which the Prophet had sent to some place and was martyred. 
The Prophet 0, later sent another expedition which was joined 
by another of them and he, too, was martyred. Then, [after some 
time], the third man died on his bed. [The narrator, Abdullah 
ibn Shaddad], went on to relate that Abu Talha said, "I saw the 
three of them in a dream and I saw them in Paradise. The one 
who was the last to die and had died a natural death was in the 
front place, and close to him was his friend who was the second 
to die, and close to him [i.e., the other person] was the friend 
who had fallen a martyr earlier. This dream caused me 
uneasiness, and I related the dream and the uneasiness that was 
causing to my mind to the Prophet iH. He observed, "What 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

wrong do you see in it?" [Their stations ought to have been in 
the order in which you saw in the dream and the third friend 
who lived for some time after the martyrdom of his two 
companions and continued to offer up prayers and offer fast and 
repeat Praises and Attributes of the Lord should have been in 
the front place for] no one is superior to the truthful Believer 
who is granted a long life with Iman [Faith] and Islam, and, 
during it, he engages himself in the Tasbih [i.e., Zikr of Subhan 
Allah], [Takbir [i.e., Zikr of Allah-u-Akbar] and Tahlil [Zikr of 
La Ilaha IUallah] " (Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: The import of the above Tradition is similar to that 
of the preceding one. Should Allah grant a sound understanding, 
there is a great lesson in both of these sayings for the talkative and 
emotional people who fritter away their time in idle talk about 
Jihad and Martyrdom, though no such possibility is, at all, open to 
them and pay little attention to the opportunity that is available all 
the time of achieving the higher and the highest degree of religious 
advancement through acts of worship like prayer, fasting, Zikr and 
Tilawat. They not only not make use of these things, as they hold 
them of little account but, sometimes, even ruin their chances in 
the Hereafter by ridiculing and expressing contempt for the. 


'Al JJ1 ^hj JL> Al J^»j ^ Jl3 Jl3 (Y Y o/A o) 

j^S* J^xj <y Ul jJl^j 3-u«A5( jjjuJJl £Jlj C^T Ui^- 

(^jijd! j ^Ju ^Jij .uj-i si jj) 

(225/85) It is related by Abu Zarr Ghiffari 4*> that the 
Messenger of Allah H§l said to him: "Wherever you are and in 
whatever circumstances [alone or in company, at ease or in 
difficulty], fear Allah [i.e., let piety be your normal habit], and 
do a good deed after every sin — it, will annul it, and be kind 
and cordial in your behaviour towards the creatures of the 
Lord". (Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Darami.) 

Commentary: The essence of piety is the fear of Allah and earnest 
anxiety for the Hereafter. It is an inner feeling which makes itself 
mainfest in real life through willing observences of the Divine 
Commands and abstention from what is forbidden. But human 
nature and the external conditions in which a person lives being 
what they are, he often goes astray and falls into error in spite of 
the fear and anxiety [i.e., piety]. As a corrective to it, the Prophet 
has advised, in the above Tradition, that if anyone happens to 
commit a sin or a wrong, he must follow it up with a good and 
virtuous act. The effulgence of good actions will dispel the gloom 
of wickedness. In the Qur'an, too, it has been said: 

, ' ' 

Lo! Good deeds annul ill deeds. (Hud,l 1:114). 

The third advice given by the Prophet to Sayyidina Abu 
Zarr, here, is that his conduct towards all others ought to be good 
and friendly. It shows that even after purification from sin through 
righteousness and abundance of well-doing, good manners and 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

kindly behaviour are needed for felicity in the After life. 

5jU> J^i JfcfjU ^3 c^l lit Jiil >jij ^ Jlii pLj 

(226/86) Abu Ayub Ansari ^ narrates that a man came to the 
Prophet H and said, "Give me some good counsel and let it be 
brief [so that 1 can remember it easily]." The Prophet 
observed, "[Keep it in mind, firstly, that] when you stand for 
prayer, offer it like a person who is bidding farewell to the 
world and taking leave of everyone; [and secondly], never utter 
anything which you may have to repent or answer for tomorrow 
[i.e., while talking you should take care not to say anything you 
might have to account for before anyone in this world or before 
Allah on the Day of Final Requital and, thirdly, despair totally 
of what [other] people possess or is seen in their hands [i.e., the 
centre of all of your hopes and aspirations should only be the 
Lord of the Worlds and you must not entertain any expectations 
from fellow-men]. (Musnad Ahmad.) 

£iS Jll ill J-p ill J^3 # Sjjji ^1 jfi (UV/AV) 

Xj^UJlj ^lil J ill ^jte 6C*Ul \tf oU*li 

ot&^ii iiij jiijij uii j juaij luLlJij u^i j jsUi, jjiii j 

^ -Lit t^l ejl^Pij £Ua* ^-Sij ^» ^3 

(227/87) It is related by Abu Huryrah ^ that the Messenger of 
Allah 111 said: "There are three things which lead to salavation 
and there are three things which lead to damnation. The three 
things that lead to salvation are: (i) the fear of Allah in seclusion 
as well as in company [or in what is hidden and in what is 
manifest]; (ii) to speak the truth in anger as well as in pleasure; 
and (iii) moderation in prosperity as well as in poverty. And 
there three things that lead to damnation are: (i) the inordinate 
desire which is followed: (ii) the stinginess which is obeyed 
[i.e., whose demands are submitted to]; and (iii) self-conceit 
which is the worst of them all." (Baihaqi) 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


Commentary: The Holy Prophet iH often used to emphasise the 
virtue of certain good actions and habits and the wickedness of 
certain evil actions and habits according to the needs of the people 
around him at that time. The present Tradition is of an identical 
nature. It simply shows that whoever wants to attain salvation 
should observe the few golden rules laid down in it and avoid 
being self-centred, mean with money and a slave to carnal 
propensities. The Prophet H has condemned conceitedness and 
self-glorification as severest of vices, probably, because anyone 
who suffers from it does not believe that anything is wrong with 
him, and, therefore, listens to no one. 

(228/88) It is related by 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr that the 
Messenger of Allah H said: "Four things and habits are such 
that if you possess them then there is no harm if the world [and 
its blessings] are lost or do not come to [your] hand. [These 
are]: (i) safe-keeping of trust, (ii) truthfuleness in speech; (iii) 
good manners; and (iv) caution and abstinence in food." 

(Musnad Ahmad and Baihaqi.) 

Commentary: The word 'trust' is used in a very wide sense in the 
terminology of Islam. It includes the fulfilment of the rights of 
Allah and of men as well as the carrying out of covenants and 
promises. Thus, a person who is trustworthy, i.e., who fulfils the 
rights of Allah as well of men honestly and is truthful when he 
speaks and possesses good manners and noble qualities of mind 
and character and exercises self-restraint in food and drink and 
does not overeat or partake of things that are forbidden or of a 
doubtful nature is, positively a very fine specimen of humanity. He 
is not only a perfect man in this world but in th never-ending life of 
the Hereafter, too, such exceptional favours will be conferred upon 
him that each one of them will be more valuable than all the 
blessings of the world put together. If a man like him remains poor 
in the earthly existence, he should not grieve for what he has is far 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

superior to all that the world has to offer. 

LpI j <uJi Jj«r ^Ail Juij i»Jih UJ 5 ^iui ^^ih 

(229/89) It is related by Abu Zarr Ghiffari 4^ that Messenger of 
Allah HsHfe said: "He became fortunate and successful whose heart 
Allah set aside for Faith and made it safe and sound [i.e., whom 
He blessed with Faith so pure and untainted that not an iota of 
doubt or hypocrisy could enter his heart and protected it against 
the spiritual maladies like envy and illwill], and whose tongue 
He endowed with truthfulness, and inmost self with serenity 
[i.e., whose soul was such that it drived solace from the 
remembrance of 'Allah and the things that were pleasing to 
Him], an whose natural disposition He put right and free from 
weaknesses [so that it did not tend towards sin], and whose ear 
He made fit to hear and eyes He made fit to see [i.e., who could 
hear the truthful word of Allah and see 'His signs and take 
warning and draw lessons from them]. Thus, the ear is like the 
funnel [through which things go into the heart as the liquid is 
poured into a bottle], and the eye is the conveyer and stabilizer 
of things which is entrusts to the heart. And blessed, indeed, is 
the man whose heart Allah made capable of remembering." 

(Musnad Ahmad and Baihaqi.) 

Commentary: What has been said about the ears and eyes in the 
concluding part of the above Tradition is to underline the 
importance of the part the two organs play in the life of a man. 
Whatever reaches the heart, which, so to speak, is the monarch in 
the human body, and affects it is, generally, through the ears and 
the eyes. Consequently, the success and salvation of the bondsman 
is dependent on the ability and fitness of his eyes and ears to see 
and hear. 

The last sentence denotes that even though the things of 
success and good fortune reach a man's heart through the eyes and 
ears, salvation and felicity in the Hereafter cannot be attained 

The Book of Soft-he arte dness 


unless the heart is capable of preserving and making proper use of 

In the Qur'an the three faculties of seeing, hearing and 
understanding have been mentioned, from place to place, in a way 
as if man's guidance and deliverance was contingent on their 

(230/90) Amr ibn Maymoon Al-Awdi reports that Messenger of 
Allah 0 said to a man while he ws admonishing him: "Realise 
the value of five states before five other states: (i) Your youth 
before your old age: (ii) Your health before your illness (iii) 
Your wealth before your poverty (iv) Your leisure before your 
occupation : and (v) Your life before your death." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: Man's circumstances do not always remain the 
same. They vary from time to time. It is, therefore, proper that we 
made the best use of the conditions of ease and well-being that are 
available to us and did whatever we could for the attainment of the 
good pleasure of the Lord. Who knows what tomorrow will bring 
and whether we will be able to perform good deeds or not. 

In fine, every moment of life should be regarded as a respite 
granted by Allah and no pains should be spared to make the best 
use of it. 

We must take advantage of youth before old age sets in, health 
before illness and wealth before poverty. If there is time we must 
use it fruitfully before we become busy and then death comes 
because the door of deeds and istighfar will also close down. 

>2t u Ji* «3*Ai JU $\ cf i'jfr 4} 'J- <Yn/«u) 



Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

(23 1/91 ) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4& that the Messenger of 
Allah iH said: "You expect wealth and prosperity which makes 
a man arogant, or you expect proverty which makes a man 
forgetful, or expect illness which makes a man miserable, or you 
expect old age which makes a man feeble-minded or you expect 
death which comes suddenly and perishes, or you expect Dajjal 
— and Dajjal is the worst of those that are not present are being 
awaited, or you expect the Last Day and the Last Day is a 
grievous calamity and a bitter draught in an extreme degree." 

(Tirmizi and Nasai) 

Commentary: It shows that those who do not realise the value of 
the days of comfort and affluence and let them pass without 
making an earnest endeavour to seek the favour of Allah and 
felicity in the Hereafter are, in fact, waiting for one or the other of 
the distressing events mentioned therein to shake them up. Then, 
alnone, will they begin to prepare for the Day of Judgement. 

^14? j^Pii u 3 '*m $ 'ja 4ju ^3 <>%\ 

"(232/92) It is related by Abdullah ibn Mas'ood 4k> that the 
Messenger of Allah m said: "On the last Day [when people will 
be gathered for the Great Requital] the feet of the son of Aadam 
shall not move until he is questioned about five things: (i) about 
his life and on what he spent it; (ii) about his youth and on what 
he waisted it; (iii) about his wealth and wherefrom he obtained 
it (iv) on what he spent it; and (v) about what he did regarding 
the knowledge he had." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: Every one of us should look into his life and his 
youth, his earnings and expenditure, and knowledge and deeds and 
ask himself what answer will he give when he will be questioned 
about them on the Judgement Day and how is it going to turn out 
for him. May Allah, by His grace, make the trail easy for us, 
otherwise it is a most testing and painful event and only the blessed 
bondsmen who make ready for it in advance and spent their lives in 
conscientious observance of His commands will be able to save 

The Book of Sofl-heariedness 


themselves from disgrace on that day. 

J jL>j cJi cJ5 uJs^g- ^%Ui Ji cJLJi a-^j ^")CJi i^j>»jlfr ^*>L-Ji 
0)j iiii' A^pJii ^ <J£jU>i 5! ^ ^ J 1 ^ fjfr 

Yj ja oLs. ^3 % ^3 iJL^ ^3 
ji^ii ja c45' 6a jtUi ti-ij ji ^-T>0! £^ j ^jj*^ 1 

(233/93) Abu Jurayy Jabir ibn Sulaim narrates I went to 
Madinah (and I did not know anything about the Prophet sll till 
then). 1 saw thai people came to a man like ardent seekers and 
he said something to them and they accepted it and went away. 
Whatever he said was believed and consented to by the people 
with their heart and soul. 1, thereupon asked who he was and 
people told me that he was the Messenger of Allah. I made my 
way to his august presence and said, "Alaik as-Salam Ya 
Rasulullah."*^ J L. ^">LJi >_£-U 1 said it twice, [upon which] he 
said, "Do not say Alaik-as-Salam. It is the salutation of the dead. 
[During the days of Ignorance people used to salute the dead in 
that way]. [Instead of it], say, As-Salam-o-Alaik.} I, then, asked 
him, "Are you the Messenger of Allah?" "Yes", he replied, '1 am 
the Messenger of Allah whose glory is such that if you are in 
distress and you pray to Him, He will remove your distress, and 
if the calamity of a drought overtakes you and you pray to Him, 
He will produce crops from the field for you, and if you are in a 
wilderness and lose your animal and pray to Him, He will 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

restore it to you." I, [then], said to him, "Give me some more 
good counsel and warning advice." The Prophet observed, "[My 
first advice to you is] never abuse anyone. "[Jabir ibn Sulaym 
related that] after it, I did not use abusive language for anyone 
whether a freedborn or a slave or even an animal like a goat or a 
camel. Proceeding, the Prophet i$| said, "Do not consider any 
favour to be small [or paltry], speak to your brother with a 
cheerful countenance for that too is a favour, keep your 
tahbund ] , high up to the middle of the calves, or if you do not 
like it, at least higher than the ankles, and abstain from wearing 
it lower than that for it is a sign of vanity and Allah does not 
like vanity, and if anyone abuses you or puts you to shame by 
talking about an evil thing concerning you, which is in his 
knowledge, do not retaliate and, in this way, the punishment for 
his abusiveness will be entirely upon him." (Abu Dawood) 

.Uu; & {Lj 4* in JU jk\ j}^5 jil jts ^\ & ( r r i/u) 

(234/94) It is related by Abu Hurayrah the Messenger of 
Allah 0 (once) said to us; "Who will learn these few things 
from me, and, then, act upon them or tell them to others who 
will act?" I repled, "O Messenger of Allah! I am present." The 
Prophet H, thereupon, held my hand [in affection] and said, 
"Refrain from the acts Allah has forbidden and refram from 
them strictly. If you will do so, you are a very great worshipper 
[and this worship is better than the abundance of supererogatory 
worship]. Secondly, remain satisfied with what Allah has 
fore-ordained for you. If you do so, you will attain contentment 
and become very rich. Thirdly, be kind and gentle in your 
behaviour towards the neighbours. If you will do so, you are a 
perfect Believer. Fourthly, desire for yourself what you desire 

O. A piece of cloth worn round the waist. It is not fastened behind. 

The Book of Sofl-heartedness 


for others. If you do so, you will become a true Muslim. Fifthly, 
do not laugh much for too much of laughter kills the heart." 

(Musnad Ahmad and Tirmizi) 

Commentary: The Prophet £§l wanted to tell the five above 
mentioned things. In order to attract the attention of the listeners, 
he first said, "I want to tell a few special things. Who among you 
will like to learn them? But he will have to pay back their claim by 
acting upon them himself, and, also, relating them to others so that 
they, too, may profit." 

It shows that there are two claims on anyone who acquires the 
knowledge of Faith: he should act according to it himself and, also, 
pass it on to others. Even if he does not carry out into practice fully 
what he learns, he must impart it to others. 

The five things the Prophet H has taught in this Tradition are 
of fundamental importance. 

(i) He is a most devout slave and a great worshipper who 
abstains from what is unlawful though he may not be 
offering up a great deal of supererogatory prayers and 
observing much of supererogatory fasts. 

(ii) One derives immense satisfaction and peace of mind from 
being content with what Allah has decreed for him. 

(iii) Good and noble behaviour towards the neighbour is a 
prerequisite of prefection in Faith. 

(iv) A true Muslim must always wish well for others to the 
extent of desiring for them what he desires for himself. 

(v) One should not laugh much because excessive laughter 
deprives the heart of feeling and makes it insensitive. 

If any slave of Allah observes these five things even today, he 
will enjoy Paradise on earth and live very distinctive life. People 
will love him. His heart will be alive with remembrance of Allah 
and the rewards of the Hereafter await him there. 

^TUjl C~ <£L* ^ J\l jS ^ & (YroMo) 

$ i>fj & 0*' jbt i$ } litfii jij ^> fc\ $ 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

(235/95) Abu Zarr Ghiffari 4fe narrates "My beloved friend, 
[The sacred Prophet Hi], has enjoined seven things upon me. 
He has commanded me to love and be close to the poor and the 
downtrodden, and he has commanded he to look at those in the 
world who are of lower rank than me [i.e., who are less 
fortunate in earthly life], and not at those who are of higher rank 
[i.e., possess greater asets to material comfort some other 
Ahadith suggest that it grows qualities of patience and gratitude. 
And he has commanded to be kind to the kinsman and to 
preserve and keep intact the bond of kinship (i.e., fulfil the 
obligations of relationship even though the kinsmen do not do 
so), and he has commanded me not to ask for anything from 
anyone as a favour [i.e., beseech Allah alone for my needs and 
do not be a begger at anyone else's door], and he has 
comi anded me to speak the truth at all times thought it may be 
bitter for others [i.e., be hurtful or unpleasent to them for being 
opposed to their desires and interests], and he has commanded 
me to care nothing for the rebuke of those who vevile and villi Ty 
in the path of Allah [i.e., say and do only Allah has enjoined 
even if people disapprove of it. He has commanded me to recite 
much the Kulima of La-Huulawa-la-Quwata-Illa-Billah [there 
is no power or might but in Allah] because all these things are 
from the treasure-house which is under the ninth heaven [i.e., 
these are gems from the treausre which is under the Throne of 
Allah and He gives them to whom He pleases. It is beyond the 
reach of anyone else]. (Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: The necessary elucidation of the above saying has 
been furnished along with the translation. The one point worthly of 
special mention, here, is that the significance of the prayer-formula 
of La-Haul a-wa-la Quwat-t-illa-Bilah, we are exhorted to recite 
frequently in this Tradition, has been explained in another saying 
of thet Prophet $fe and it is that "the power to do good and to 
abstain from evil is granted to the bondsmen solely by the mercy of 
the Lord." In other words, if the grace and guidance of Almighty 
does not go with the circumstances of anyone, he can neither 
perform a good deed nor keep away from an evil one. Hence, the 
bondsman should always be entreating the Lord for mercy and 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


guidance, and if he is blessed with good-doing and uprightness, he 
should consider it to be a Divine gift and not his own achievement. 

The above Kalimah expresses exactly the same truth, and, if it 
is recited with humility and conviction, it is most efficacious for 
inner correction and development. Spiritual mentors, specially 
those belonging to the Shazlia sect of Islamic mysticism, advise the 
devotees and seekers of truth to recite it much and often. 

^ >Tj 5> i > : j \& 'J&VM^ & 

(236/96) It is realted by Abu Hurayrah 4fe> that the Messenger of 
Allah $1 said: "My Lord has commanded me these nine things 
in particular: (i) To fear Allah in private and in public [i.e., 
secretly as well as openly]; (ii) To speak what is just and true in 
anger and in pleasure [i.e., it should not be that when I am 
displeased with anyone I depart from truth and if anyone 
happened to be my friend and I am pleased with him, 1 take 
sides with him unjustly]; (Hi) To pursue the middle path in 
poverty and in affluence [i.e., 1 should neither show impatience 
and distress when I am inflicted with poverty nor be vain and 
boastful when I am granted weatlh and abundace]; (iv) Not to 
turn my back even on the kinsman who treats me indifferently 
and violates the bond of kinship; (v) To give even to those who 
keep me deprived and encroach upon my rights; (vi) To be 
forgiving to those who were unjust and cruel to me; (vii) My 
silence should be endowed with reflection [i.e., when alone I 
should meditate on things that were worth meditating, such as, 
the Signs and Attributes of the Lord and how He had treated me 
and what my conduct was, or ought to be, towards Him. .Or, 
what my end is going to be? Or, how could an erring bondsman 
be brought back to Allah]? (viii) My speech should be of 
remembrance [i.e., whenever 1 spoke it should be related, in one 
way or the other, to Allah, whether by celebrating His Names, 

326 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Praises and Attributes or preaching His Word or that I paid a 
due regard to His decrees and commands in whatever I said]- 
and (ix)My eye ought to be admonitory [i.e., I should learn a 
lesson or take a warning from whatever I saw]; and [ shall 
enjoin what is good and lawful." (Razin) 

Commentary: It is worth remembering that the last phrase of the 
above Tradition about the enjoining of what is right and legitimate 
is in addition to the nine items of advice the Prophet 0 wanted to 
impart on that occasion. It is, in fact, the main task and object for 
which the holy Prophet $ was raised up, i.e., the sanctioning of 
what is lawful which, naturally, includes the forbidding of what is 
wrong and sinful. 

M fa & ' Ai J± > ^uji jis iu, ^ ( y r Y/i v) 
J-A oui ikj ^lj, 515 ^ 3,3^,3 ^13 ,> 

£y * iJajt ^ ^ jjMj dia ^ diij 6> 

( ^ ,fl ^ >iy^rt3^^rup 

£ 37/97) h is re,ated b >' Mu ' az that the Messenger of Allah 
^ [once] urged him to ten good deeds. He said; "(i) Do not 
associate anyone with Allah even if you are killed or burnt alive 
(11) Do not disobey your parents even if they tell you to get out' 
abandoning your family and property; (ft) Do not deliberately 
miss a Ford [obligatory] prayer for Allah's convenant ceases for 
him who misses a Fard prayer intentionally; (iv) Do not drink 
[wine] for drinking is the root of all lewdness; (v) Keep away 
from every sin for the wrath of Allah comes down because of 
sins (vi) Do not turn your back and run away from the field of 
Jihad even if it is littered with dead bodies; (vii) If you are 
living at a place with other men and death becomes rampant in 
it [due to the outbreak of an epidemic], stay there [firmly] [i.e., 
do not think of fleeing in order to save your life]; (viii) Spend 

The Book of Sofl-heartedness 


on your depandance according to your means [i.e., neither be 
miserly so that you put them to hardship although you had the 
money nor spend on them beyond your resources]: (ix) Be strict 
with them [the dependants], [if and when needed], to teach them 
good morals; (x) Instil into them [the dependants] the fear of 
Allah." (Musnd-i-Ahmad) 

Commentary: Though the import of the Tradition is clear from 
the translation given above, a few points call for a clarification. 

It is a well-known principle of the Shari'ah, and in the Qur'an, 
too, it has been stated candidly that if a person is compelled to 
deviate from Islam to infidelity or polytheism and it is felt that he 
will be killed if he refuses to do so. he is premitted, in such an 
eventuality, to accept infidelity or polytheism vocally. But the 
better and nobler course is that he remained steadfast and did not 
express, even vocally, the acceptance of infidelity or polytheism, 
even at the cost of his life. 

The Prophet II advised Sayyidina Mu'az to be resolute in a 
situation like that because he was among the chosen sevants of the 

Similarly, the Prophet's $H advice to Sayyidina Mu'az 
concerning obedience to parents that he should carry out their 
wishes even if they made him to foresake his family and property 
also denotes an ideal standard of behaviour. It means that the 
children should submit to the severest orders of their parents. Or 
else, in the Shariah, it is not binding upon the childern to fulfil 
such harsh and unreasonable demands of the parents. If, however, 
it is done voluntarily and the rights of no one else are disregarded 
thereby, it will, indeed, make a most admirable example of filial 

The holy Prophet 0 remarks about the prayer that whoever 
intentionally neglects an obligatory prayer forfits the convenant of 
Allah is among the Traditions of the strength which Imam Shafa'i 
and some others doctors of Islamic Jurisprudence have prescribed 
the penalty of death on it. Imam Maalik and Imam Abu Hanifah, 
however, hold that a Muslim ruler can award to a defaulter ol' 
prayer whatever punishment he deems fit and he may imprison 
him. This is, also, a form of freedom of obligation from Allah. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Be that as it may, there is no place in Islam for wilful disregard 
of prayer and if the offence does not amount to apostasy, it, 
definitely, comes very close to it. 

The last part of the Tradition deals with the maintenance and 
upbringing of children. The main command is that we should 
regard it to be one of our religious duties to inculcate the fear of 
Allah in the hearts of our family members for which they will be 
answerable before Allah on the Last Day. 

&k\ J* ii # £ g£ JCKS u JOS ^ 
'in ia 6j y 3 Jr> ^ j>: ^Lj 

(238/98) Umar ibn Khattab relates that one day he came to 
the Mosque of the Prophet H and saw that Mu'az ibn Jabal <&>> 
was sitting beside the grave of the Prophet 0 and was crying. 
"What is the reason of your crying?" Umar asked Mu'az, "I am 
weeping because of a thing I heard from the Prophet," Mu'az 
replied. "I have heard him say that even a little hypocrisy 
amounts to polytheism, and whoever bore enmity with a friend 
of Allah invited Allah to war, and the Almighty Creator, 
certainly, loves the pious and virtuous bondsmen who are so 
hidden and unkown to fame that no one looks for them when 
they are out of sight, or cares to invite the when they are 
present. Their hearts are like luminous lamps of guidance that 
pass through a black duststorm [without being blown out]." 

(Ibn Majah and Baihaqi) 

Commentary: The first thing to be noted here is the Prophet's % 
observation that even a trace of hypocirsy (or, ostentetion) means 
as much as polytheism. It, alone, should be enough to make them 
weep in whose hearts dwells the fear of Allah and who, also, 
realise what polytheism is and how rueful are its consequences. 

The Book of Sofi-heartedness 


It is difficult even for those to avoid hypocrisy of a concealed 
nature or a lesser degree who conscientiously try to stay away from 
it. Often it happens that the bondsman does his best to keep his 
action free from the evil and yet feels that he had not been wholly 
successful. With men of virtue and holiness the case is that they do 
a thing, and, then, are haunted by the fear that it could not attain 
the degree of sincerity that was needed. Perhaps the lamenation of 
Sayyidina Mu'az also, was due to a similar realisation. 

Mu'az 4^0 further, relates that after administering the warning 
about hypocrisy that holy Prophet 0 admonished that one should 
be extremely careful in his attitude towards the bondsman who's 
saintliness is a popularly accepted fact. Whoever harbours a feeling 
of disrespect or hostility against such chosen devotees of the Lord 
should consider himself to be a war with Allah. 

The Prophet $1 added that the pious and devout bondsmen are 
the favourities of the Lord who remain in obscurity by eschewing 
things that lead to fame. They are so unknown and insignificant 
that no one misses them when they are absent nor asks them to 
come when they are there. Their hearts are not only luminous 
themselves but also lend the light of guidance to others and can 
withstand successfully all sorts of trails and temptations. 

Sayyidina Mu'az's ^> grief might, also, have been induced by 
the feeling that he could not remain so unnoticed and his life was 
not of such poverty and helplessness. It could also be that he was 
distrssed by the possibility of having transgressed against the rights 
of a hidded bondsman of Allah of an elevated rank and causing 
hurt or harm to him. 

rp* 3& jii \Uh ^ & iij ^ > *h 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part U 

n'jii i^ij dJi \y 5if oi3 j^j> ji Jis cii ^jii ^ 

(239/99) Narrates Abu Zarr Ghiffari 4§& that one day he betook 
himself to the august presence of the Messenger of Allah ill. 
After it [either Abu Zarr himself or the subsequent narrator who 
narrated it on his authority], related a long Tradition [which is 
not included here]. During the conversation that followed, Abu 
Zarr Ghiffari said to the Prophet H, "O Messenger of Allah! 
Give me some advice." The Prophet replied, "I exhort you to 
Taqwa, the piety of the Lord for it will embellish you deeds." 
Abu Zarr relates that he, then, said, "Give me some more 
advice." The Prophet iH replied, " I exhort you to make a 
Tilawah 1 and Zikr 2 compulsory for yourself for Tilawah and 
Zikr will be the cause of your being mentioned in assembly of 
the angels and there will be light for you on the earth." Abu Zarr 
relates that he, again, said, "Give me some more advice". The 
Prophet £|l said, "Cultivate the habit of keeping silence much 
and talk little for it the domain of Faith." Abu Zarr relates that 
he, further, said, "Give me some more advice". The Prophet iH 
said, "Do not laugh much for it kills the heart and deprives one's 
face of radiance." Abu Zarr relates that, once again, he said, 
"Give me some advice." The Prophet $1 observed, "Speak 
always truth though it may be bitter [for the people]." Abu Zarr 
relates that he, again, said, "Give me some more advice." The 
Prophet H said, "Care not for the reproach of him who 
reproaches in the path of Allah." Abu Zarr relates that he, again, 
said, "Give me some more advice," The Prophet Hi said, "What 
you know about yourself and your inmost self should be enough 
to prevent you from seeking out the faults of other." (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: In it the Prophet $1 has, first of all, advised Abu 
Zarr to adopt Taqwa, observe piety and said that it will purify 
his actions and make them beautiful. Indeed, if a man were to make 
the fear of Allah the guiding principle of his life, his entire 
existence would become one of loyalty and submission and both 
his exterior and interior existence would be en riched and get 
O Recitation of Qur'an. 
© Remembrance of Allah 

The Book of Soft-hear te cine ss 


adroned with beauty. The Prophet ft, then, urges him to recite the 
Qur'an and celebrate the praises of the Lord much for his name 
will, thereby, be mentioned in the celestial world, As another 
saying of the Prophet ft has it: "When the bondsman remembers 
Allah in this world, Allah speaks about him in the company of 
angels." In the Qur'an too, it is stated: 

Therefore remember Me, 1 will remeberyou. [Al-Baqarah2:152], 
Another blessing of Tilawah and Zikr the Prophet ft has 
stressed here is that they impart an enffulgence on this very earth to 
those who keep themselves occupied with them. The lusture 
produced by Tilawah and Zikr is, of course, an inner condition but 
its effects are also felt outwardly. 

The Prophet ft has. further, told Sayyidina Abu Zarr 4k> to 
remain silent most of the time for it is very efficacious in keeping 
the devil away and also beneficial in many other ways to Faith. It is 
clear that Satan does the greatest harm to one's moral and spiritual 
development through the tongue. Falsehood, backbiting, slander, 
abusiveness and tale-bearing are the commonest of sins. A 
Tradition of the Prophet ft says that "More than anything else, the 
indiscretions of the tongue will cause one to be plunged headlong 
into Hell." The bondsman who develops the habit of talking little 
will, thus, be more successful in guarding his Faith against the 
intursions of the devil. 

It should, however, be remembered that what the above saying 
means is that a person should not engage in vain and unnecessary 
talk which has no utility here in this world nor in the Hereafter and 
not that he kept silence just for the sake of it and refrained even 
from saying things that were good and useful. We have already 
reproduced the Tradition in the book of Faith that, "Whoever 
believes in Allah and the Last Day should either speak what is 
good or keep quiet." 

The Prophet ft has, also, warned against laughing excessively 
as it benumbs the heart and makes the face lustreless. The 
benumbing of the heart denotes that it becomes neglectful and 
unsensitive and a sort of gloom settles over it, an apparent effect of 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

which is that the radiance which is, generally, noticed in the devout 
bondsmen of the Lord, with an awakened soul and illuminated 
heart, departs from the face. 

The last exhortation to Sayyidina Abu Zarr is that the 
anxiety resulting from the awareness of his own faults and 
transgressions ought to be so overwhelming that it gave him no 
time to look into or talk about the sins and weakness of others. 
Anyone who keeps a watch on his own failings and moral and 
mental processes will always be ready to overlook the defects and 
shortcoming in other people. He will consider himself to be the 
worst of sinners. The fault and failngs of others are, generally 
noticed by those who never care to look into themselves. 

'jLe'$ Cur *J\ $ lite -j\ d£ & & (T t . / \. . > 

ijy 1 ill oliT ^Ui iak^j iii ^ j J~iz)l ja Jj£ jii^ij aIIp ' in 
jtf&lj ^Uh Ji k Jit} jk\ hkLt J» j JUJt £} cr-UJ( 

(240/100) It is narrated by Mu'awiya 4$> that, once, he wrote a 
letter to Sayyidah Ayshah if* ill requesting her to give him 
some good counsel, but it should be brief and comprehensive 
and not too long. Upon it, She sent to him the following reply: 
"Peace be on you! I have heard the Messenger of Allah ill say: 
'Whoever will seek to please Allah by displeasing men, Allah 
will make him independent of the help and favour of men and 
He Himself will become sufficient unto him, and whoever will 
seek to please men by displesing Allah, Allah will give him in 
the charge of men. And peace'!" (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: Often poeple are faced with a situation, specially 
those who have a wide circle of friends and manifold 
responsibilities, in which they adopt an attitude that is likely to lead 
to the good pleasure of Allah, many people with whom they are 
connected in various ways or who can be of help to them in 
different manners become antagonised, and if they act upon the 
wishes of those persons, they incur the displeasure of Allah. For 

The Book of Soft-heartedness 


such occasions, it has been set forth in the above Tradition that if 
the bondsman will choose the path of the good pleasure of Allah, 
Allah will take it upon Himself to provide for his needs and he will 
continue, by His mercy, to recieve the benefits he expects from 
men. On the contrary, if the bondsman tries to please men, at the 
cost of displeasing Allah, and carries out their wishes to the 
disregard of Divine injuctions, Allah will withhold His help from 
him and give him into the keeping of men who, in themselves, are 
equally powerless and indigent. 

In a nutshell, it shows that if anyone wanted that Allah took 
upon Himself directly the responsibility of providing for his needs, 
he should make the seeking of the countenance of the Lord his sole 
object and standard of judgement in all affairs. 

Although His advice is very brief in words, but has a deep and 
wide meaning. 



Among the things on which the Prophet Muhammad & has 
laid the greatest stress, after Belief, and maintained that the felicity 
and salvation of mankind is dependents upon them, one is the 
cultivation of good manners and noble qualities of mind and 
character, avoiding evil and unseemly behaviour, and keeping away 
from vicious habits and practices. In the Qur'an, where the objects 
of raising up of the sacred Prophet A, are defined, it is, also, 
emphasised that to cleanse men and make them pure is a special 
part of his mission. 

( m:Y»>Ji) 

And sanctify them. (Al-Baqarah2:129) 

Moral reform and uplift occupies a place of highest importance 
in the aim and design of sanctification. As the Prophet A himself 
has said: "I have been raised up by Allah to teach moral virtues." It 
denotes that moral correction and elevation was among the chief 
ends and purposes of the mission of the Prophet Muhammad A, 
and formed a fundamental part of his magnificent endeavour. It, 
naturally, could not be otherwise, for moral values play a vital part 
in moulding a man's life. A person with good morals will not only 
lead a happy and peaceful life himself, but his existence will be a 
source of comfort to others as well. On the other hand, if his social 
conduct and moral disposition are bad, his life will be devoid of 
real joy, and he will, also, make the lives of his relatives and all 
others around him miserable. 

These are the ready, worldly effects of good or evil behaviour 
we experience in our daily existence, but it is going to yield far 
more serious results in the everlasting life of the Hereafter. The 
sequel of noble morals, in the Hereafter, is the good pleasure of the 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Lord and Paradise while that of bad manners and evil conduct is 
the Wrath of Allah and Fire of Hell. 

The sayings of holy Prophet 0 relating to moral reform are of 
two kinds: one in which he has laid emphasis on moral goodness, 
as a principle, explained the worth and importance of good and 
virtuous habits, and indicated the unique reward they are going to 
fetch in the Hereafter, and the other that contain the advice and 
instruction to acquire or avoid a particular moral attribute. Here, 
we will, first, take up the Traditions belonging to the former 

Importance of Good Manners 

(241/1) It is related by Abdullah ibn Amr 4& that the Messenger 
of Allah m said: "The best of you are those who possess the 
best of manners." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

(242/2) Abu Hurayrah 4& related to us that the Messenger of 
Allah ^said: "Believers who possess better morals are the 
most perfect in Faith . " (Abu Dawood and Darami ) 

Commentary: There is a definite relationship between belief and 
manners. He who has a perfect belief definitely has very good 
manners. On the same basis, he who possesses very good manners 
is a perfect believer. It must be understood that without belief, a 
person's manners — nay, any deed he performs — are meaningless. 
Belief is the spirit and the driving force for every deed and every 
piety. Thus, if we see anyone who has good manners but he is not a 
believer then those are not manners in the real sense but morelly an 
image of manners and they have no value in the sight of Allah. 

^ j» d\ J* p3 * flSyil J\ & ( Y t TIT) 

The Book of Manners 


(243/3) It is related by Abu Darda, he relates that the Prophet 
0 said: "On the Day of Resurrection, the most weighty item in 
the Scales of the Deeds will be good manners." 

(Abu Dawood and Tirmizi) 

(244/4) A man from Muzaynah said that some of the 
Companions said, "Messenger of Allah of the things that 
are bestowed to man, what is the best?" He said, "Good 
manners!" (Baihaqi in Sha'h al-Iman. Imam Baihaqi has transmitted in 
Sharah as-Sunnah on the authority of Usamah bin Shareek). 

Commentary: It would not be correct to assume from the above 
Tradition that good morals were even superior to Faith or the 
principal tenets like prayer, fasting, Zakah* and Hajj. 1 The 
Companions & to whom these sayings were directly addressed had 
already learnt from the Prophet 0 that among the various brances 
of Islam, the most important were Faith and the doctrine of Divine 
Unity, and, then, came the fundamental duties. As for the rest of 
the departments of religious life, some of them take precedence 
over others in various ways, and the place of moral virtues, 
undoubtly, is very high, and in the attainment of success and 
salvation in After-life and the gaining of the countenance of the 
Lord, their significance is beyond question. 

l\ j jfc^j 4*& JL*> £m a * •/•) 

(245/105) Sayyidah Ayshah i#*it relates that she heard the 
Messenger of Allah A say: "A Believer with good manners and 
good moral disposition gets the same reward as he who spend 
his nights in prayer, and observes fast during days, always." 

(Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: It shows that a person who is a true Muslim, both 
in belief and action, and, also, possesses good manners, but does 
O. Poor-due 

©. Pligramage to Makkah. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

not engage himself much in supererogatory fasts and prayers 
attains the same degree of excellence, through moral goodness, as 
the one who, generally, stands up in prayer throughout the night 
and fasts all the day long. 

4*'& Jj<>&\ fej ± ^C,j U >^ Jtf ^ (TiVl) 

(246/6) Mu'az related to us, saying: "The last advice given to 
me by the Messenger of Allah & when I had put my foot in the 
stirrups of mount was that he said: 'Make your manners good for 
the people. (Behave well with them)*." (Mowatta) 

Commentary: Towards the end of his life, the holy Prophet A 
had sent Sayyidina Mu'az 4& as the Governer of Yemen, and while 
bidding him farewell in Madinah, he had given him a number of 
instructions which are mentioned, under various headings, in the 
compilations of the Traditions. In the above narrative, Mu'az 
has spoken of the same occasion. What he means to convey is that 
as he was leaving for Yemen, to take up the assingment, the last 
thing the Prophet S told him was to deal gently with its 

It needs, however, be remembered that "good manners" do not 
entail that even hardened criminals and habitual evil-doers who 
deserved to be dealt with severely and there was no other way to 
reform them than through chastisement were, also, to be treated 
with leniency. It would, on the contrary, amount to the neglect of 
one's duty and lending encouragement to sinfulness and 

In any case, it is not against moral goodness, by any code of 
ethics, to be harsh on the criminals, of course, within the limits of 
justice and the Allah-given law. 

Note: As we have seen earlier 1 , the holy Prophet A had, also, 
said to Sayyidina Mu'az 4& at that time, "It is quite possible that 
we do not meet again after this year. It may be that (when you 
returned from Yemen) you may visit my mosque and my grave 

O. 'Meaning and Message of the Traditions': Vol. I. pp., 223-24 (Previous 

The Book of Manners 


instead of visiting me." 

Since it was not the custom of the Prophet ft to say such 
things, Mu'az 4& concluded that the death of the Prophet ft was, 
probably, near, and he might not be able to see him again. Upon it, 
he began to cry. The sacred Prophet ft, then, consoled him, 

"Much closer to me are people who fear Allah and observe 

piety, whoever and wherever they may be." 

What the Prophet ft had said to Mu'az 4& turned out to be 
true, and, on his return from Yemen, Mu'az 4& did not see him, but 
his grave. 

vi^J JtS fa JU> Jj^ S * hfiU > (Y iV/V)^ 

(247/7) Imam Maalik 4$ reports that it had been related to him 
that the Messenger of Allah ft said: "I have been sent down by 
Allah to evolve moral virtues to highest perfection." 
(This Tradition had been mentioned by Imam Maalik, in the 
same form as above in his Mowatta, without giving the name of 
the narrator, while Imam Ahmad has related it on the authority 
of Abu Hurayrah in his Musnad). 
Commentary: It tells that moral reform and development of good 
manners were among the chief objects of the mission of the holy 
Prophet ft and formed an important part of the sanctification set 
forth in the Qur'an as his special duty. 

()Sp^ •» j j) **** p*^* J\ 09 

(248/8) It is related by Abdullah ibn Amr 4$> that the Messenger 
of Allah ft said: "Nearest to me among you are those who have 
better manners." (Bukhari) 
Commentary: In Sayyidina Jabir's 4& account of the above 
Tradition, quoted in Tirmizi, it is stated that the Messenger of 
Allah ft said: 

342 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

"The dearest to me among you, and the nearest to me on the 
Day of Resurrection will be those who displayed the best 

These show how essential good morals are desirable manners 
are for gaining the affection of the holy Prophet 0 and his 
propinquity on the Day of Resurrection. 

#tfi JL# >i & ciis aiiu & ( t t iM) 

(249/9) Sayyidah Ayshah if* Jk\ ^ relates that the Messenger 
of Allah iS* used to pray: 

"Oh Allah! Thou hast, by Thy grace, made my body good; make 
my morals good as well." 

Note: This prayer of the sacred Prophet 0 for good morals and 
polite behaviour has been reproduced in different words and at 
different places in the collections of the Traditions. All the various 
versions of it will be quoted in a subsequent volume of the present 
series. Here, however, we shall take up just one more. 

It is related, on the authority of Sayyidina Ali in Sahih 
Muslim, that one of the prayers the Messenger of Allah H used to 
make during Tahqjjud 1 was: 

H d*Hfi pJ-X ^fkiA'j 

"Oh Lord! Lead me on the best 
of moral manners. No one, 

aside of Thee, can guide to ^j^\^cS\*i\\^J-X^^ 
moral excellence. And remove . - 

bad manners from me. No one, ^T** ^ ^-t 0 *- ^T - 
aside of Thee, can remove cJWl 

O. An optional prayer offered during the latter stages of the night. 


Mercy is a special Attribute of Allah, and Rahman (the 
Beneficient) and Rahim (the Merciful) are His Excellent Names. 
The bondsmen are blessed and deserving of Divine Mercy to the 
extent to which a reflection of this virtue is present in them, while 
those who are cruel and hard-hearted are excluded from it in the 
same proportion. 

They Are Deserving of Divine 
Mercy Who Are Merciful to Others 

(250/10) It is related by Jareer ibn Abdullah <^>that the 

Messenger of Allah said: "Allah will not show mercy to 

them who do not show mercy to other people." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: The word "other people", occurring in it, includes 

the Muslims as well as the infidels and the sinners. Everyone, 

indeed, has a claim upon kindness and compassion no matter to 

what class or community he belongs. True sympathy and kindliness 

towards the infidels and wrong-doers, however, would demand 

that, first of all, we felt sorry and concerned in our hearts at the 

sequel of their infidelity and transgression, and tried sincerely to 

save them. Apart from it, in cases of physical or worldly want and 

suffering, also, we are commanded to be kind and helpful to them. 

frU-lil Jf, ja Jf>'ji\ J> 'J* s 'y**-')\ Cy^} s dj+^ty 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

(251/1 1) It is related by Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-Aas Ai ^ 
u** that the Messenger of Allah $1 said: "Allah will have 
mercy upon them that are merciful. Treat kindly the dwellers of 
the earth; He who dwells in the heavens will treat you kindly: 

(Abu Dawood and Tirmizi) 
Commentary: It shows that deserving of the special mercy of the 
Lord are the kind-hearted bondsmen who have love and sympathy 
for His creatures. 

The exhortation to show kindness to "the dwellers of the earth" 
includes not only men of all faiths and nationalities, but, also, 
animals. It has been made more explicit in the Traditions that 

On Showing Kindness to Animals— A Thirsty Dog 

5* c&\ & $ X5J j£> jui ^Ji jm is > J*e d«L; m 
jia jj^i j u fo> j^j u'^ii tfjitf jkj'^i ^ii 

(252/12) Abu Hurayrah 4& related to us, saying that the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "Once a traveller was feeling 
extremely thirsty, he came upon a well. He went down into it, 
drank the water, and came out. On coming out, he saw a dog 
that was dying of thirst. Its tongue was sticking out and it was 
licking the wet earth. The man took pity on it, and, again, went 
down into the well, filled his leather stocking with water, held it 
by his teeth, and came out of the well, and gave the water to the 
dog to drink. This simple service to the thristing dog pleased the 
Lord so much that He blessed the man with salvation." Upon it, 
some Companions enquired: "Is there a reward even on 
removing the distress of animals?" "Yes" replied the Prophet. 
"On removing the distress of every living being (that can feel 
the pangs of hunger and thirst)". (Bukhari and Muslim) 

The Book of Manners 


Commentary: Sometimes, even an ordinary act is most pleasing 
to Allah owing to the idea or intention behind it, or the unusal 
circumstances in which it is performed, and all the sins and 
iniquities of the doer are forgiven as a result of it. The incident, 
related in the above report, is of a similar kind. A traveller is 
pressing on towards his destination under the hot sun. He is 
tormented by thirst. In these circumstances, he sees a well, but 
there is no rope or bucket to draw the water from it. With great 
difficulty, he climbs down into the well, drinks the water, and 
comes out. Now, he sees a dog licking the wet earth. He takes pity 
on it. The situation in which he is placed demands that he should 
hurry on with the journey and reach the destination early so that he 
could have some rest. But there is the dying dog. He cannot leave it 
alone. It is, also, a creature of the Lord. So, he decides to go down 
into the well again and fetch the water for the poor animal. On 
reaching the water, he fills his leather-stocking, holds it by the 
teeth, and comes out, and gives the water to the dog. The mercy 
and benevolence of the Lord is strirred by it and the decision is 
reached to grant him forgiveness and Paradise. 

It needs to be remembered that it was not merely the act of 
giving water to the dog that mattered, but the spirit behind it. 

^3 4j*il JU $\ UAi £ IMJ # J*jJ k> 

j^3 u; ^ jia jutfi & £ < ji*Ji 0* ^ & ^3 

*J\ >Jj> & ?ta JS^L J\ iXj&\ M jk\ Ja is Jul !> 

(a jii ^ »i j j) 'M'HJ A *s* J 

(253/13) Narrates Abdullah ibn Ja'far 4& "Once the Messenger 
of Allah 0 went to the orchard of an Ansar 1 Companion.There 
was a camel over there which groaned pathetically on seeing the 
Prophet as she-camel does when separated from its young 

O. Literally, it means the 'helpers'. In islamic terminology, the term applies to the 
inhabitants of Madinah who embraced the Islamic faith and extended warm 
support and sympathy to the Mohajirs (emigrants from Makkah). 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

one, and, began to shed tears. The Prophet & went to it and 
stroked its head gently until it became quiet. He, then, asked: 
"Whose camel is it?" An ansar young man came forward and 
said that it bnelonged to him. The Prophet & thereupon, said to 
the Ansar: 'Do you not fear Allah, in respect of the poor, dumb 
creature. Who has made you its master? it has complained to me 
that you keep it hungry and take too much work from it." 

(Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: As Sayyidina Sulayman used to understand the 
language of the birds, by Allah's leave, which, also, is mentioned in 
the Qur'an: 

We have been taught the language of the birds, (An-Naml 27:16) 
The Holy Prophet 0, too, could understand the language of the 
animals. The incident mentioned, in this Tradition, of the Prophet's 
Hi comprehension of the complaint of the camel, and, in the next, 
of his comprehension of the complaint of a bird, belong to the 
same category, and are, so to speak, among his miracles that cannot 
be explained by a known natural law. 

The moral of it is that anyone possessing an animal should feed 
it properly and take only as much work from it as may not be 
beyond its endurance. 

The world has, now, woken to the need of the prevention of 
cruelty of animals, but the scared Prophet 0s$& had taught it to 
mankind over fourteen hundred years ago. 

jkl S^Y&ti (Yofc/U) 

4*'h\ JU $ dJu^J ij^s\ uUU 
oi ^ Xi) >J\y 3 _ i$ ujUj jjl j ? uoj> ; *x» j; jui ^3 
i A cte ^ i& jtl £ 01 1& j> ^ jiii u u§> 

(254/14) Abdul Rahman ibn Abdullah ibn Masud relates, on the 
authority of his father, "We were accompanying the Messenger 
of Allah 0 on a journey that, while he had gone to attend the 

The Book of Manners 


call of nature, we saw a small red bird, (probably a blue- necked 
jay), with two young ones. We caught the chicks, (and) the bird 
came and began to hover over our heads. (Meanwhile), the 
Prophet returned, and said: 'Who has hurt the bird by 
catching its young ones? Give back the chicks to it'. He, then, 
saw an ant-hill we had set fire to, and enquired who had done 
that. 'O Messenger of Allah, we said, 'We have burnt it'. He, 
thereupon, observed: 'It befits on one save Allah, the Creator of 
Fire, to inflict the punishment of fire on a living being.'" 

(Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: From these Traditions we learnt that the animals 
too, even the ants, should not be treated cruelly. 

(255/1 5) It is related by Abdullah ibn Amr that the Messenger 
of Allah ill said: "A cruel, hard-hearted woman was cast into 
Hell for her curelty to a cat which she held in captivity until it 
died of starvation. She neither gave it a morsel of food nor sit it 
free so that it could eat the worms (or rodents) of the earth." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: From Sayyidina Jabir's account, quoted in Sahih 
Muslim, it appears that the woman was of the Bani Isra'il and the 
Holy Prophet $1 seen her under going the penalty of fire in Hell 
either during the Night of Ascension or in a dream or some other 

Anyway, it is clear from it that even curelty to animals is most 
displeasing to the Lord and can lead one to Hell. 

(256/16) Abu Hurayrah relates that he heard the truthful and 
trustworthy Sayyidina Abul Qasim iSl say: "The attribute of 
compassion is not taken away from the heart of anyone except 
the ill-fated." (Musnad Ahmad and Tirmizi) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Commentary: It shows that if the heart of anyone is wholly 
devoid of kindliness and compassion, it should be taken to mean 
that he is accursed in the sight of Allah, for the heart of a person 
who is doomed to Hell, alone, is totally lacking in mercy. 

^3 .d* 41 JU J\ l£i ^ jl ^ j* (ToYA Y) 

(257/17) It is related by Abu Hurairah 4$b that someone 
complained to the Prophet of his (own) hard-heartedness. 
"Caress the head of the orphan, and feed the poor", the Prophet 
HI instructed him. (Musn ad Ahmad) 

Commentary: Cruelty is a spiritual ailment. The questioner had 
sought the advice of the Prophet concerning the state of his 
heart upon which he was told to cultivate the habits of caressing 
the heads of the orphans and feeding the hungry. 

The remedy suggested by the holy Prophet A is based upon a 
well-known principle of psychology, or, rather, it confirms it. It 
teaches that if a mental or emotional condition is not present in 
anyone, and he wants to acquire it, he should make himself look 
like possessing it, and, in course of time, it will become a part of 
his nature. The method of profusion in Zikr (Allah remembrance), 
as a means to the cultivation of Divine love, which is practised 
among the Sufis 1 , is found on the same principle. 

Nevertheless, it is a symbol of compassion to stoke the head of 
an orphan and feed the poor. Anyone lacking this can develop it by 
following this advice. 


To spend one's wealth on others and to aid and assist them in 
their needs, too, is a branch of compassion in the same way as 
stinginess, illiberality and selfishness are a form of curelty. 

^ls\ ^Lj dp'in JL> h j^ij Jul jii rji^k ^ ^ ( y o a/ \ a> 

O. Belonging to a class of Godly and abstemious persons among Muslims 

The Book of Manners 


•! j j) ^ O^U Jl 

(258/1 8) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4^> that the Messenger of 
Allah m said: "A generous- hearted bondsman is nearer to 
Allah and men, and he is close to Heaven and far away from 
Hell; and, surely, an ignorant, but open-handed man is dearer to 
Allah than a devotee who is a miser." (Tirmizi) 

<i»J-~r> i* jWJi «i j j> ^ jflli ^JUj 

(259/19) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4$> that the Messenger of 
Allah 0 said: "It is the command of the Lord for every 
bondsman : 'Spend on others. I shall spend on thee." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: It gives the assurance that Allah will bestow more 
wealth, from His hidden treasures, upon those who spend on the 
weak and needy fellow-men. They need not fear that poverty will 
become their lot if they spent freely in the way of Allah. 

(260/20) Jabir 4&> relates "It never happened that the Messenger 
of Allah %i was asked for anything and he denied them." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: It shows that such was the generosity of the holy 
Prophet 1§£ that he never turned away a suppliant without giving 
him something. He always helped those who asked him for charity, 
and if, at any time, he had nothing to give, he would borrow for it. 

(261/21) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of 
Allah 0 said: "If I have gold equal (in weight) (even) to Mount 
Uhud, my desire will be that I spent the whole of it, before the 
passage of three nights, in the path of Allah, except that I held 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

back some of it to pay off a debt." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

H |JL»3 4& ' ill JU h\ JjJ*3 Jtf Jl5 5^ j*. (Y"l Y/YY) 

(262/22) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of 
Allah Wt said: "Miserliness and greed cannot coexist together 
with faith in anyone's heart." (Nasai) 
Commentary: What it seeks to emphasise is that stinginess is so 
greatly repugnant to the spirit of Islam that it cannot enter the heart 
of a true Believer, and if this habit is found in anyone, it may be 
presumed that he is unblest with th radiance of Faith. As a little 
recflection will show, there can be no place for a thing like 
miserliness in the heart of a person who has a living faith in Allah 
and His Attributes. 

(263/23) Abu Bakr related to us, saying that the Messenger 
of Allah iH said: "The cheat, the miser, and the one who 
follows up one's favours with painful reminders of them shall 
not enter Heaven . " (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: It denotes that deceit, and parsimony, and to speak 
or boast of favours conferred are such ruinous habits that these are 
likely to obstruct one's passage to Paradise. Hence, those who are 
keen to attain salvation and go to Heaven should keep away from 

Forgiveness And Self-Restraint 

To pardon the guilty and the offender and to refuse to take 
revenge are among the virtues that are closely related to 
soft-heartedness. The Prophet J§l, himself, did the same and 
exhorted his followers also, to act in like manner. 

We have, already, seen the Tradition in previous pages, quoted 
on the authroity of Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah 4^>, that the Lord had 
commanded nine things to the Messenger of Allah i§jf^ in 
particular, one of which was to forgive those who were cruel and 

The Book of Manners 


unjust to him. 

i'ji ^SJJ> Jli c>>^tf aJj! Jsm &s> oi3 j Uii 

uLu ol; ^ Uj « s>r i^'in S13 * £JU ilk* 

(264/24) It is related by Abu Hurayrah "A person once 
abused Abu Bakr and the Prophet iH was sitting [there]. He 
felt amazed and was smiling (at the behaviour of both with the 
man abusing Abu Bakr continuously and the latter bearing it 
with patience). But when that person went on with it beyond 
limit, Abu Bakr also, returned some of the invectives. The 
Prophet thereupon, left the place in some anger. (Feeling 
greatly perturbed, Abu Bakr went after the Prophet H to find 
out the reason of his annoyance and apologised). As he met the 
Prophet 0, and said, Messenger of Allah! How is that you 
remained sitting when the man was hurling abuses at me, 
without end, but when I, too, said something, you got angry and 
departed from the place?' The Prophet replied: 'An angel of 
Allah was with you and replying on your behalf as long as you 
kept quiet and showed patience, but when you answered back, 
the angel went away and the devil came in, (on seeing an 
opportunity to add fuel to the fire).' Thern he said, 'O Abu Bakr! 
There are three things that are absolutely true: One, if an 
injustice is done to anyone and he forgives it solely for the sake 
of Allah (and does not take revenge), Allah will support him, in 
all respects, in return for it (and raise him in esteem both in this 
world and the next). Two, whoever opens the door of giving to 
others and showing kindness to kinsmen, Allah will bestow 
prosperity upon him and multiply his wealth. And, three, 
whoever will open the door of begging (not out of need but) to 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

add to his wealth, Allah will cause a further diminution in his 
possessions." (Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: Though it is permissible to take revenge with 
justice, a better and nobler thing is to forgive, for the sake of Allah, 
even when one has the power to avenge oneself. Since Sayyidina 
Abu Bakr was regarded with special favour by the Prophet ti§k, 
he did not like him to say anything, by way of a retort, to the 
offender. Says the Qur'an: 

The legal repayment of an ^ -^ U & j&^ffU; 

ill-deed is an ill, the like ^ ^ * ~ / 

thereof. But whosoever Al^a^ti^iitj 

pardoneth and amendeth, his (Cnft^j^iJi) 

reward is due from Allah. (Al-Shura 42:40) 

* y * 

(265/25) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of 
Allah m> said: "Musa ibn Imran, the Prophet, once asked the 
Lord:'Oh Lord! Who are the noblest of bondsmen in Your 
sight?' Those who forgive the guilty when they have him in 
their control (and are in a position to take revenge,' the Lord 
replied." (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: It is worth remembering that the superiority of 
forgiving the guilty and the defaulter, as mentioned above, is 
related only to the personal sphere, i.e., where our individual or 
private rights and interests are concerned. But no one has the right 
to condone an offence or misdeed that is against Allah, and upon 
which a punishment is fixed by Him. The practice of the holy 
Prophet who was the most merciful of men, was, also, the 
same. He always forgave those who did a wrong to him, but never 
failed to punish, according to the Divine Law, men who violated 
the limits laid down by Allah. 

It is related in Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of 
Sayyidah Ayshah \^k^y. 

The Book of Manners 


"The Messenger of Allah & never punished anyone in a 
personal matter, but when a person transgressed against a 
Allah-given law, he used to punish him by reason of the 
command of Allah." 

J\fcytetf'jU#M&& awn) 

J At J± $\ & ^ P AwJi ^ jipt ^> u jiil (JLj 

(266/26) It is related by Abdullah ibn Umar that (once) i 
person came to the Messenger of Allah 0 and said: "O 
Messenger of Allah ! How many times should I forgive the fault 
of my attendent (slave or servant)?". The Prophet did not answer 
and kept quiet. The questioner, then, asked again: 'How many 
times should I forgive the fault of my attendent (slave or 
servant)?" He replied, "Seventy times each day." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: What the holy Prophet % wanted to stress was that 
forgiveness was not a thing on which a limit could be set. On the 
other hand, kindliness demanded that a servant should be forgiven 
even if he was frequently at fault. 

As we have seen in the earlier volumes, the figure of seventy on 
such occasions does not denote the exact number, but profusion. 
And, it is more apparent in this hadith. 

Doing Good 

To do an act of kindness, too, is a branch of compassion, or, 
rather, its fruit. It can have many forms, such as, the doing 
someone a favour, the offering a gift, or the rendering a service or 
acting in any other manner that may be a source of joy or comfort 
to anyone. The holy Prophet 0 has urged upon his followers to 
make all these a part of their social and moral behaviour. 

jfcj^'Al jU>^Jd*l>la>j 4r S^ (Y*t Y/Y Y) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Ate J\ ja j»\ J\ jkji >Ljti&\ jo- juii 

(267/27) Anas and Abdullah u** A\^j (both) related to us that 
the Messenger of Allah said: "The creatures are the family of 
Allah. (He is responsible for their sustenance in the same way as 
a person, ostensibly, is responsible for the sustenance of his 
dependents). Thus, the most beloved of Allah, in the whole 
creation, is he who does good to the members of His family, 
i.e., His creatures." (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: In this world of ours, too, we feel drawn to a person 
who is good and kind to our family. In the above Tradition, we are 
told that the same is the case with the Lord as well. Whoever 
shows kindness to His creatures is greatly liked by Him. 

Note: We have said earlier and repeat that it should be noted 
that such tidings appertain only to those who are not guilty of a 
mortal sin that renders a man wholly unworthy of Divine 

Take it like this, suppose it is proclaimed by a king that he will 
reward and raise in honour anyone who does good to his subjects, 
will it include even the rebels and professional criminals? 

jJLj ^U'ill ibl J^j Jtl Jli j& (Y1A/YA) 

{LjZ\ J# j uiit o!j s& cr^ s a! ti'P &l 
(tf i, jji »i jj) »>atj \j iti 6! j 6* J-^ 1 cr** & 

(268/28) It is related by Huzayfah 4& that the Messenger of 
'Allah W* said: "Do not be of those who do (by others) as the 
others do (by them), and say that we will do them a favour if 
they do us a favour, and if they will be mean and unjust to us 
then we, too, will be mean and unjust to them. On the contrary, 
resolve that you will do good if the others do good, and if they 
do a wrong and act unjustly, even then you will not be unfair to 
them." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: It tells that a true Believer should always be 
kind-hearted and amiable to others and an act of goodness should 
not be done only to those who are good to us, but to such people, 
as well, who treat us unjustly. We have seen a hadith in the Kitab 

The Book of Manners 


ar Riqaq narrated by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah 
said that his Lord had commanded him to join ties with him who 
broke them and to give to him too who holds back. 

^JaS 'J* (JL) ds- ' &\ JU fa J}^3 J\S ji jS\ ^ (Y 1 <\/Y ^) 

(296/29) Sayyidina Anas has said that the Messneger of 
Allah !$S& said: "He who fulfils the need of any of my people to 
make him happy, truly makes Me happy. And, he who makes 
me happy, in fact, makes Allah happy, And, he who makes 
Allah happy, Allah will make him enter Paradise." (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: We can see how much the Messenger of Allah 
cares for his people from this hadith. If anyone pleases another 
person by doing something for him then he pleases the Prophet 
and thereby earns the pleasure of Allah and Paradise. 

j>CS\ j 4*'&\ JU > 3^3 jvi jii Y£k *J\ 'J. ( y y . ir . ) 

(270/30) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of 
Allah W> said: "Whoever exerts himself for the sake of a 
helpless widow or a weak and indigent man is equal in 
recompense to him who exerts himself in the path of Allah." 
(The narrator adds): "And I think the Prophet, also, said that 'he 
is like the bondsman who spend his nights in prayer, and does 
not feel tired, and the bondsman who fasts through the year, and 
never goes without a fast." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: As we have seen in the foregoing Traditions, an act 
of kindness is most pleasing to Allah, no matter to what kind or 
class it belongs or to whom it is done. To attend to the need of a 
poor and helpless man or woman and to take pains in order to bring 
relief to them is an act of such a high order, in the sight of Allah, 
that the bondsmen who do so are worthy of the same reward that is 
on fighting in the way of Allah or devoting one's nights, habitually, 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

to prayer and days, to fasting. 

Even The Smallest Act of Goodness is 
Precious in The Judgement of The Lord 

i fa 0 jil jiS ]i ^ ^ (T v sir \) 

(^JL* jail »l jj) ii* ul^jlAJ t3 jPlj Asl^i ' J"^* C^fk UAJ 

(271/31) Abu Zarr Ghiffari 4fa related to us that the Messenger 
of Allah iiill said: "Let no one of you consider any form of 
manner or doing good of little value. So, if he has nothing to 
give to a brother, he should, at least, meet him with a smile on 
his face. (This, too, is a form of kindness). And when you buy 
or cook meat, increase the broth, (by putting more water into it), 
and take out a spoonful from it for your neighbour." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: It emphasises that everyone should make it a point 
to be kind and helpful to his relatives, friends or neighbours. He 
should give gifts to them, according to his means, and if he has 
nothing worth giving, he should give what he can afford and not 
hold himself back thinking that it was valueless, so much so that if 
he was not in a position to offer anything else, he ought to greet 
him with a cheerful face. It, too, is a form of kindliness, and like 
the offering of gifts etc., contributes to the promotion of mutual 
love and affection. Likewise, even a poor person can add water to 
the broth when meat is cooked in his house and send some of it to 
the neighbour. 

The holy Prophet 0 has mentioned these acts of fellow-feeling 
and kind treatment, obviously, as an illustration, otherwise what 
this Tradition means is that everyone should be ready to do what 
favour he can to others, no matter how insignificant it apeared. 

(272/32) Jabir <!$k> relates that the Messenger of Allah $H said: 
"Do not consider any form of kindness insignificant and one of 

The Book of Manners 


its forms (which costs nothing) is that you meet a brother with a 
cheerful face, and it, also, (is among the kindly acts, that you 
pour water from your bucket into the vessel of your brother." 


Commentary: Like the preceeding report, it, too, makes use of 
examples to stress that no act of kindness is insignificant in the 
sight of Allah, and a person should not hesitate to render what little 
service he can to others. Doing good is not the prerogative of the 
rich. The poor too can do it. 


A superior form of kindness is that though a person may be 
needing a thing himself, he gives it to someone who wants it. This 
is called self-sacrifice, and, without doubt, it is a virute of the 
highest order. 

0k\ JU> J\ £ JiS uii ^ jp (xvr/rr> 

ibl J}^*j G JU& «ol?w>t ja J^3 \$\ j^JLij 

iZH faj 4* JU ^ f IS til* ^ Jti* »X* U 

LiJLss-l (ii^j At JLp j^Jl C-jJj ^ I* J 1 * 

^J^J J^* *»*»a* J l *-4 ^ cij* Jllj lift aJLIi l^Jl Isr-lsj^i 

(tf jlAjt al ^ faj 4*'& ^ ^ 

(273/33) Narrates Sahl ibn Sa'ad that (once) a woman came 
to the Messenger of Allah with a mantle (as a present) and 
begged him to wear it. Then Prophet $1 accepted the gift and 
wore it. His condition, at that time, was such that he really 
needed a mantle. On seeing him wearing it, a Companion said: 
Messenger of Aliah! This mantle is very good. Please give it to 
me." "Alright", replied the Prophet Wt and gave him the mantle. 
After the Messenger of Allah iH had gone, some Companions 
rebuked the person (who had asked for the mantle), and said: 
"You did a wrong thing. You knew that the Messenger of Allah 
iH> needed it himself and it was in a state of want that he had 
accepted it from the lady yet you asked for it knowing well that 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part I! 

it was his habit to give away whatever anyone asked for from 
him." The Companion replied: "I did so for the sake of its 
blessedness. I though that as the Messenger of Allah had 
worn the mantle, it would make a good shroud for me."(Bukhari) 

J^> k\ J\ j^j & jxi ^ ^ ( t v ur * > 
li j^Vw^iii ckJJ') ciiii -ucj ^ J^ti i'j&j, j>\ jua 

<>* ^ j&j & ^ ^ 'j\ $ & ^ 

j*3 {iUi'^ii iifj ^ ^3 ^u'i»i JU in jia Jsta 
jtii 4^3 J\ 4« jikiU 4i j)^, u ui jiii iAit a' jii; 
3 ^L. (^ai^ jil ^c* 6/ i dill l/jup j» 

ji ^3& jr □ oj^ ^ jii tiU jru ui ^li ui> till 

^jlfc UUj Ji^Jl jrtj ijjtfft cJUil uibti A^yUJ ^ ^I^Jl 

>i ju* ,i-3 40p'i»t JU> J3^j ut ^ Oil 

4&A3 j/4l ui^jl'il JU) ^3 4^P 41 

(274/34) Narrates Abu Hurayrah ^fe that (once) a person came 
to the Messenger of Allah and said; "I am a poor and needy 
person, and in great distress. (I am starving)." The Prophet 
thereupon, sent word to one of his wives {to send if she had 
anything to eat for the poor fellow). She replied: "By the Holy 
Being who hasraised you up with Truth, there is nothing to eat 
or drink with me save water." The Messenger of Allah m then, 
enquired from another of his wives, and. then, one one by one, 
from all of his wives, and, recieved the same reply. At last, he 
enquired from the Companions (who were with him at that 
time): "Who. among you can have him as his guest? There will 
be a special favour of the Lord on him (who does so)." (Upon 
it), an Ansar. named Abu Talha. stood up, and said: "Messengr 
of Allah ! I shall have him for a guest." Abu Talha took the man 
to his house, and said to his wife: "Do you have anything for 
this guest?" "There is nothing except the food for the cnidlren". 
she replied." (there is nothing to eat for you or me too)." ".Then, 
said Abu Talha." put the children to sleep, (somehow), without 

The Book of Manners 


feeding them, and pretened before the guest that we are going to 
eat with him. When he stretches his hand for eating, go to the 
lamp at the pretext of setting it right and put it out (so that there 
may be darkness and the guest cannot know whether we are 
eating with him or not)". The wife did as she was told, and 
while all the three sat down at the meal, it was only the guest 
who ate, and Abu Talha and his wife remained hungry for the 
night. When Abu Talha went to the Messenger of Allah 0 in 
the morning, the latter named him and his wife specifically, and 
gave them the glad tidings that "Allah very much liked the act of 
such-and-such a bondsman and such-and-such a bondswoman 
of His. He was highly pleased." The narrator forgot whether the 
Prophet said ^ v* 1 * or ^ . (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: The incident narrated above speaks of ihe 
marvellous sentiments of magnanimity and self-abnegation the 
holy Prophet & had produced among his Companions 4*> through 
his teachings and practical example. It is this spirit of self-sacrifice 
and hospitality of the Ansars that has been extolled in the Qiir'an in 
these words: 

(\-*\ ^ rf^' ^ o)£yS 

They prefer the needy to themselves though poverty (or hunger) 
become their lot. (Al-Hashr 59:9) 

It was to express extra ordinary approval the behaviour of Abu 
Talha had received that the Prophet % used the word.-** or ^$<*-e 
(amazed or laughed) otherw ise these are qualities of human beings 
among the essential qualities of Faith. The Prophet himself, 
was an embodiment of love, and each attribute of his was an 
attribute of Faith indeed. 

(275/35) It is related by Abu H u ray rah that the Messenger of 
Allah said: "A Believer is a personification of love. There is 
no virtue in him who does not love others and the others do not 
love him." (Musnad Ahmad and Baihaqi) 

Commentary: It shows that to have a loving and affectionate 
nature is a religious requirement for a Muslim. II' he does not care 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

for others and the others do not care for him, he is devoid of virtue 
and his existence is of no benefit to society. 

It has a lesson for the dry and unsociable people who imagine 
detachment and aloofness to be the signs of religiousness and 
spirituality, and do not feel warmly for others nor let others come 
close to them. It should, however, be taken for granted that the love 
and affection of the Believer is for the sake of Allah and subject to 
His Will and Command. 

My living and death are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. 


LoveandHatredForTheSakeof Allah 

( *ji» y \ .tjj) k j j £jS\ y j j ju^f , 

(276/36) Abu Zarr Ghiffari ^ related to us, saying:' "The 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "Among the acts of a bondsman, 
the most pleasing to Allah is love which is for the sake of Allah, 
and hatred which is for the sake of Allah." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: He, of course, dwells on a high moral and spiritual 
place who. loves whom He loves and hates whom He hates solely 
for the sake of Allah. 

We have seen, in the narrative in which it is stated, on the 
authority of Abu Zarr Ghiffari, that the Messenger of Allah 0 said 
to him: "The strongest document of Faith is love and affection for 
the sake of Allah, and hatred and enmity for anyone for the sake of 

Respect for And Worship of Allah 

(277/37) It is narrated by Abu Umamah that the Messenger 
of Allah said: "If anyone loves another person for the sake of 
Allah then he has truly respected his Lord, the Mighty and 

The Book of Manners 


Glorious." (Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: The act of a slave of Allah in loving another for the 
sake of Allah is in reality his showing respect to Allah. In this way, 
it is a worship of Allah. 

They Become The Beloved of 
Allah Who Care For Each Other 

p^j At JJfi Ai SjZij cJuJ- Jla ^ £ iU; ( y VA/rA) 
i§ O^JbSJ^j ^ j3»&lJ v^i 'ill Jll ^ 

(278/38) Mu'az ibn Jabal & related to us: "1 heard the 
Messenger of Allah 0 say: 'Says the Lord: 'My love is due, as 
of right, to those who love each other for My sake, and unite 
and sit together for My sake, and spend on each other for My 
sake." (Mowatta) 

Commentary: The bondsmen who have subordinated their love 
and attachement and social relations to the good pleasure of Allah 
and whose state is that they love whom they love, and meet whom 
they meet, and sit with and spend on one another wholly for 
gaining His countenance are, surely, worthy of His special love and 
good graces. This is a hadith Qudsi. 

Oh Allah: Make us of those who love each other solely for Your 
sake, unite solely for Your sake, and sit together solely for Your 
sake, and spend on one another solely for the sake of Your good 

& 1*1313 ^3 # 3 dp \fiit *J$\ j. I'j&k ^ 'j, ( t wr i ) 
tij Jll JUy Jl5 a^JU £ ' ill JU3'li >» 0 J 

^ aS^-t ^ ^ V J ii ^ ^ > j ii aj^il 1 «^ ^ ^ a» 

((JU* o» jj) 4I* *£Ja UT ^J^-t J^'^ii &\ J3^»3 ^ J^j^ 1 

(279/39) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of 

362 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Allah Wi said: "A person set out to meet a brother who lived in 
another town (or village), and Allah caused an Angel to sit by 
the road by which he was travelling and wait for him there. 
(Thus, when the man arrived at that place), the Angel asked 
him: 'Where are you going?' 'I am going to such-and-such a 
town (or village) where a brother of mine lives,' replied the man. 
'Is he under a debt of gratitude to you which you want to cause 
to grow and become stronger by your going?' the Angel asked. 
'No', the man replied. 'There is no other reason that I love him 
for the sake of Allah'. The Angel, thereupon, said: '(Now), I tell 
you that Allah has sent me to inform you that He loves you just 
as you love His bondsman for His sake". (Mowatta) 

Commentary: The incident related above, apparently, appertains 
to a person who belongs to an earlier Ummah 1 . We, further, learn 
from it that angels can, sometimes, also, come to a non-prophet, by 
Allah's leave, and talk to him face to face. The coming of Jibril 
Ml to Maryam. for instance, is mentioned in the Qur'an though it 
is known that she was not a Divine Prophet. 

The substance of it is that for a man to love his brother for the 
sake of Allah and to go to meet him for the same reason is an act 
that makes him the favourite of the Lord, and. occasionally. He. 
also, makes it known to him through an angel. 

Those Who Love FortheSakeof Allah will Be 
Distinguished on The Day of Resurrection 

'rf&H ii^l f ji i'JLjJjIj frtJtf i'-if* "i'3 (tf 
y*> ^ \$ ^ Jtl T£i ji U>U>> JJi} U ^ 
i/ji $\ j JjJ feyrj i>\M? JO*' J ^'j 

(Ajbjiisijj) JjO^^Jj^S*^}*^^!^ 

(280/40) Sayyidina Umar 4^ said that the Messenger of Allah 
$&* said: "Among the slaves of Allah there are people who are 

O. Meaning a community following the same faith. 

The Book of Manners 


niether prophets nor martyrs whose position in relation to Allah 
will be an object of desire by the Prophets and martyrs on the 
Day of Resurrection." The people said: "Messenger of Allah 
Tell us who they are," and he said, "They are people who have 
loved one another by reason of Allah's spirit and were giving 
gifts to one another without being related or having (common) 
property. I swear by Allah that their faces will be light and that 
they will be placed upon light, neither fearing when men fear 
nor grieving when men grieve." And he recited this verse: 

Lo! Verily the friends of Allah are (those) on whom fear 
(cometh) not. nor do they grieve. (Younus 10:62) 

Commentary: Love for the blood-related is a natural instinct 
among human biengs; also, among animals and wild beasts. Again, 
it is natrual for us to love anyone who shows favour or bestow s 
gifts on us and this trait is common to everyone, even the infidels, 
polytheists and sinners. However, love anyone who is a stranger 
without any of these considerations but only because of religious 
ties is a characteristic of faith which is highly esteemed by Allah. 
Who loves such people and will reward them on the Day of 

The hudilh does not mean to tell us that such people enjoy a 
rank higher than the Prophets and martyrs, for, it does happen, 
sometimes, that the higher ranked envy the lower-ranked when 
they are rewarded. 

These people are called in the hadith as "those who have loved 
one another by reason of Allah's spirit." The Arabic word is Rouh 
or Rcnvh (with a dummah on, or a fatha). We take both versions 
to mean religion of Allah. 

These people will neither fear nor grieve. 

Those Who Love For the Sake of Allah 
Will be Under The Shadow of The 
Throne on The Day of Resurrection 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

(281/41) It is related by Abu H u ray rah that the Messenger of 
Allah w> said: "On the Day of Resurrection, the Lord will 
proclaim: 'Where are the bondsmen who love each other 
because of My Power and Glory? Today, when there is no 
shadow save Mine, 1 shall give them a place under it'." (Muslim) 

Commentary: Allah is All-seeing and Omniscient. Nothing in the 
entire universe, however tiny or insignificant it may be, is hidden 
from His view. His enquiry, on the Day of Resurrection about the 
aforementioned bondsmen as to where they were will, thus, not be 
for getting the information, but in order that His liking and 
fondness for men who love one another for His sake was made 
manifest to everyone. 

The "Shadow of Allah," here, probably, denotes the shadow of 
His Throne, as is clear from some other versions of the same 

Love, A Means To Nearness 

(282/42) Abdullah ibn Mas'ood narrates that a person came 
to the Prophet 0 and said, Messenger of Allah: What do you 
say about the man who loves a group (or community), but could 
not be with it?" 'A man is with whom he loves (or will be caused 
to be with him on the Day of Final Judgement)," the Prophet 

Commentary: The aim of the questioner, perhaps, was to know 
what would the end be of a man who loved a good and virtuous 
person (or a group of such persons), but, in his conduct, he could 
not be wholly like them. The Prophet's reply, conseqeuntly, would 
mean that in spite of being somewhat inferior in his deeds, he will 
be blessed, in the Hereafter, with the company of those whom he 
loved. The next Tradition is more explicit. 

((A— J tfjbfcJl «i j j) 


(Bukhari and Muslim) 

The Book of Manners 


j£» bl J\3 jfi ^1 c^CJt gi> & 'J. ( y AT/IT) 

(283/43) It is related that once he (Abu Zarr) asked the 
Messenger of Allah "O Messenger of Allah! There is a man 
who loves the chosen bondsmen of the Lord, but is incapable of 
doing deeds like them. (What is going to be his end)?" The 
Prophet 0 replied: "Abu Zarr! You will be with whom you 
love." Messenger of Allah 0, (exclaimed Abu Zarr). "I love 
Allah and His Messenger." "You will be with whom you love", 
the Prophet again, replied. On hearing it, Abu Zarr repeated 
the enquiry, and the Messenger of Allah m gave the same reply 
once again. (Abu Dawood) 

(284/44) Anas 4&> relates that, once, a person said to the 
Messenger of Allah Messenger of Allah ! When will be the 
Hour (of Doom)? " "Fie upon you", observed the Prophet. "(You 
want to know about the Hour). (Tell me), what preparation have 
you made for it?" "I have made no special preparation", replied 
the questioner. "But I (do) love Allah and His Messenger". "You 
will be with whom you love", remarked the Prophet mt. The 
narrator, Anas, adds that "I have not seen the Muslims (the 
Companions) happier (to hear) any other tiding since they had 
embraced Islam." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: In another version of the above Tradition, the 
concluding remark of Sayyidina Anas has been quoted as 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

"We (the Companions), never 
felt happier at anything than the 
Prophet's $jl observation 'You 
are with whom you love'. By 
the Grace of Allah, I love the 
Messenger, and I love Abu 
Bakr and Umar, and I do hope 
to be blessed with their 
company, on account of this 

love, although my works are not the same as their works." 

Two things, however, must be borne in mind. First, to be with 
whom one loves does not means that the position of the lover and 
the beloved will be wholly alike and they will be treated entirely in 
the same manner, but that with regard to their respective states and 
stations, it will be identical to what is obtained, in this world, 
between the servants and the masters, and the followers and their 
leaders, and, it too, is a very great honour and blessing indeed. 

Secondly, submission is a necessary accompaniment of love, 
and it is inconceivable that a person is in love with Allah and His 
Messenger but leads a life of defiance and transgression. Thus, 
people who commit sins and violate Divine laws, without 
compunction, and, still, claim to have love for Allah and the sacred 
Prophet S are liars and hypocrites, and if they really imagine 
themselves to be of those who are blessed with devotion and 
attachment just referred to, they are labouring under a great fallacy 
and are victims of self-deception. About such a man, Sayyidah 
Rabia Basri has aptly ramaked: 

& J & & 'jS *ty ^ 

fri^Jljii L~£\ is *' ibu 

"Oh pretender of Love! Thou disobeyeth Allah, and, yet, claim 
to have love for Him. It is impossible! If thou wert, really, 
truthful in what thou asserteth, thou wouldst be faithful to Him 
for a lover carries out the wishes of the beloved with all his 
heart and soul." 

Be that as it may, it is necessary to observe one's duties to Allah 
and the Prophet % in order to be in love with them. True 

L*-> ^ <±} Ui 
tffN OjSI jTj'j 

The Book of Manners 


submission is born out of love alone. 

The tidings that those who love Allah and His Messenger are in 
the company of the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs and the 
Righteous are contained in the Qur'an itself: 

Whose obeyeth Allah and the 

Messenger, they are with those 

to whom Allah hath shown 

favour, of the Prophets and the 

Sincere and the Martyrs and 

the Virtuous. The best of 

company are they!(AI-Nisaa4:69) 

The difference between this verse and the aforementioned 
Tradition is, simply, of interpretation, otherwise, basically, their 
purport is the same. 

It is, further, supported by Sayyidah Ayshah's 14* k 
narrative that has been quoted by Ibn Kaseer in his Commentary, 
on the authority of Mardwaih and Tabarani, while explaining the 
background of the verse from Surah Nisa we have just seen. It, 
briefly, tells that once a person came to the Messenger of Allah J&> 
and said: "Messenger of Allah! I love you even more than my wife, 
and my children, and my own life. My condition is that when I am 
at home I think of you and there is no peace for me until I come 
and see you, and when I think of my death and your death, I feel 
that, after death, you will go to Paradise and will be elevated to the 
lofty station of the Prophets while even if I went to Heaven, by the 
Grace of Allah, I will not be able to attain that place, and, thus, 
remain deprived of the joy of seeing you in After-life." The sacred 
Prophet &, upon it, kept queit until the Qur'anic verse quoted 
above was revealed. 

It gave the assurance, as one would say, to that as well as to all 
'the sincere lovers of the Prophet & that if they were honest in their 
love, they would, naturally, be loyal and faithful to Allah and His 
Messenger, and, in that case, they were going to be in the company 
of the chosen bondsmen of the Lord in the Hereafter. 

The brief elucidation seemed necessary as people, often, foil to 
appreciate the real significance of love and the intimate connection 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

it has with self-surrender. 

c_S 4-»- L*ia i*_>Jj-»j S-*"J (•■fr 0 ' 

(O Allah! Grow in us love for you and Your Messenger, and 
love for those whose love draws us near You.) 


The sacred Prophet 0 is a 'Mercy to the Worlds'. His teachings 
are a blessing for the whole mankind. Some of his exhortations 
concerning doing good and showing kindness to all living beings 
have been reproduced in the preceeding pages, but since the 
community which believes in him as the Divine Messenger and 
follows the religion brought by him has, by Allah's command, been 
cast into a religious brotherhood, through a common spiritual 
bond, and, now, it has to function, till the Last Day, as the deputy 
and representative of the holy Prophet $S&, and this is possible only 
when its members behave like a fraternity, bound together by ties 
of religious solidarity, brotherly love and kindly feelings, the 
Prophet $H has attached a great importance to it. Most of his 
Traditions relating to it are such that it will be more apropriate to 
discuss them in the chapter on M'uashirat (Social Conduct)- and 
this is what we propose to do-, but a few may, however, be taken 
up here as well. 

Fellow Feeling Among Muslims 

"j£>\ iii jj^ji tj&te's fcktyj rf^i'J jt o&'^ ^? 

(jiJL*» j ^ jb*Jt o» j j) u^^'j j^JLJb JJL^l ^li ^tJU 1jja£ 

(285/45) It is related by Nu'man bin Bashir that the Messenger 
of Allah ii§b said: "In kindliness and affection, the Muslims are 
like a singly body, If any part of it is stricken with disease, the 
whole body develops fever and feels restless."(Bukhari & Muslim) 

Commentary: It tells that the Believers should feel for each other 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

so strongly that if anyone of them was afflicted with grief, the rest 
should consider it their own and show readiness to share his 
misfortune. If it is not so then their faith and belief is imperfect. 
And this is what the Qur'an describes in brief: 

(Merciful Among themselves) (Al-Fath 48:29) 
^P'l JtS fa fa Jj> ^Jl f ^ ^ (TAVH) 

(286/46) Sayyidina Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari said that the Holy 
Prophet said: "Believers are to one another like a building 
whose parts support one another." He then interleced his fingers 
(to show how Muslims should stay close together) 1 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Forbidding Mutual Hatred, 
Jealousy And Fault-Finding 

In the same way, the holy Prophet has condemned mutual 
suspicion and mistrust, contemptuous upbraiding, 
scandalmongering and backbiting, and warned his followers 
earnesly against the painful sequel of these habits. 

^ % fa 3 #2 fa JU> Jli Jtf l# $ & (T A Y/t V) 

(287/47Mt is related by Abu Hurayrah 4fc> that the Messenger of 
Allah w> said: "Do not be suspicious, for suspicion is the 
height of falsehood, nor bear a grudge or enmity against each 
other, nor be jealous of each other, nor indulge in back-biting, 
nor pry into the secrets of one another , nor try unreasonably to 
excel one another, nor turn your faces ^against each other, but O 
bondsmen of Allah! live like brothers as Allah has commanded." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 
O. Mishkat Al-Masabih, V2, p: 1032. (tr: Robson), Ashraf Lhr. 

The Book of Manners 


Commentary: The evils mentioned above are highly detrimental 
to the growth of good and friendly relations. They cause ill-will 
and produce bitterness in the hearts. The sacred Prophet has, 
first of all, spoken of suspicion which is a form of unfounded fear 
and misdoubt, and whoever has a suspecting nature sees 
viciousness in everything a man does with whom he has the least 
difference, and his attitude towards him is, naturally, influenced by 
it. The other person, too, reacts and an atmosphere of sullen malice 
and ill-will is created between them. 

The Prophet iH has termed suspicion as ^jl*Ji <~>j£\ (the 
highest degree of a lie). Generally, every Muslim knows that to tell 
a lie is a sin but everyone does not consider suspicion to be as evil. 
The Messenger of Allah has teld us, however, that suspicion is 
the greatest lie. The sin of the heart is not less than the lie of the 

Another hadith tells us that to hold a good image of anyone is 
the best form of worship. Its words are: 

(Ahmad, Abu Dawood, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah) 
The same is the case with the other habits indicated in it. They 

breed hatred and enmity and leave no room for goodwill and 

fellowship to develop which the common religious tie demands. 
The last words of the hadith, "live like brothers as Allah has 

commanded" indicate that only when harted is removed from the 

hearts will you be able to live like brothers. 

QJ&fa&k jU&Jjijjtf jlHj^^ (YAA/fcA) 

(288/48) Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger 
of Allah 0 said: "A Muslim is another Muslim's brother; he 
does not wrong, desert or despise him. Piety is another found 
here (pointing three times to his breast). Despising his brother 
Muslim is enough evil for any man to do. Every Muslim's blood, 

property and honour are sacred to a Muslim." 1 (Muslim) 

O. Mishkat Al-Masabih V2 PI 032. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Pari II 

Commentary: This hadith tells us that a Muslim has a right over 
another in that when he needs it, and is on the truth and oppresed, 
he should help him. Another hadith tells us: "If your brother is an 
oppessed, help him and if he is an oppressor then stop him from 
being an oppressor. To prevent him from being oppressive is 
actually helping him." 

Warning to Those Who Cause 
Hardship to Believers 

(289/49) Sayyidina Ibn Umar said that the Messenger of 
Allah m mounted the pulpit and called out in a loud voice, 
"You who have accepted Islam with your tongues but whose 
hearts have not been reached by faith,' do not annoy the 
Muslims, or revile them, or seek out their faults, for he who 
seeks out the faults of his Muslim brother will have his faults, 
sought out by Allah, and he whose faults are sought out by 
Allah will be exposed by Him, even though he should be in the 
interior of his house." 1 (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: When faith and belief reaches the heart, man is 
over powered with the thought of the hereafter and he is careful of 
the rights of Allah and fellow-men. He is more careful about the 
rights of those slaves of Allah who are close to Him and have a 
True Faith. He refrains from causing them hardship, backbiting 
them, insulting them or looking out for their faults. However, if 
Faith has not reached the heart, the condition is the opposite of 
what we have described. He particularly targets the pious men of 
Allah and torments them. The Messenger of Allah & has warned 
this type of men to refrain from such activities otherwise they will 
suffer despair in this very world even if they hide themselves. 

O Mishkat Al-Masabih V2 pi 047. 

The Book of Manners 


Warning Against Envy 

(290/150) Abu Hurayrah relates that the Messenger of Allah 
said: "Guard yourselves against envy for envy eats up good 
deeds as fire eats up wood." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: When the fire of envy burns in anyone's heart, he 
misses no opportunity to hurt or harm the person at the sight of 
whose excellence or success he feels discontented, and, if nothing 
else, he seeks satisfaction by slandering him and speaking ill of 
him behind his back, and, as we learn from other Traditions of the 
Prophet 0. the lowest penalty the envious are going to pay in 
future existence is that their good deeds will be alloted to those 
against whom they have sinned. It will, perhaps, explain what is 
meant by the eating up of good deeds by envy, as stated in the 
above narrative. 

^3 jUj jyi h iiibJi fruiLitj JLjii'i i\> 

(291/51) It is reported by Sayyidina Zubayr ^ that the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "The maladies of the previous 
people are overtaking you — (they are) jealousy and malice. 
They are the ones to completely shave off. 1 do not say that they 
shave the hair but that they shave off religion." 

(Musnad Ahmad, Tirmizi) 

Commentary: Allah has testified in the Qur'an that the 
Companions 4&> are ^ *W*-j (Merciful among themselves)'. He 
has also said: 

So He made friendship between your hearts so that you became 
as brothers by His grace. (Aal-e-lmran3:l03) 

O 48:29 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Or:A JUiVl) 

And (as for the Believers) He has attuned their hearts. If you had 
spent all that is in the earth you could not have attuned their 
hear ts (Al-Anfal 8:63) 

So, these verses of the Qur'an testify that as far as the 
Companions are concerned, their hearts were attuned to one 
another with love and compassion. There was no hint whatever of 
jealousy and malice in their hearts. 

Hence, the words of this hadith, "The maladies are 

overtaking you ", refer to the people who were to follow 

them later and the Prophet 0 had been disclosed this fact 
beforehand. Accordingly, he forewarned his people and they must 
be cautious. 

The Curse of Maliciousness 

»; 4j*'Ai JU>I J^j Jll JIS ^ 'j> ( Y \ Y/o Y) 

£*; J± tffi juj 4# ft ji ^ 

(292/52) Abu Hurayrah related to us, saying that the 
Messenger of Allah m said: "The deeds of men are presented 
(before Allah) on two days each week: Monday and Thrusday, 
— and the decision of forgiveness is taken for (all) Believers 
except the two who bear malice against one another. As regards 
them, the command is given to leave them out i.e., not to write 
about them that they have been forgiven until they have cleaned 
their hearts of ill-will." (Muslim) 

Commentary: It is corrobrated by another Tradition quoted by 
Imam Munziri, on the authority of Tabarani. It says : "The (record 
of the) deeds of all men is placed before Allah on each Monday and 
Thursday. Whoever has begged forgiveness from the Lord is 
forgiven, and whoever has offered sincre repentance, his 
repentance is accepted, but the deeds of those who bear malice 
against each other are returned to them. (The decision of 
forgiveness is not taken about them and their repentance is not 

The Book of Manners 


accepted until they have given up the sinful habit)." 

Some other Traditions, also, are of an identical nature and they, 
all, go to show that a Muslim who bears malice against another 
Muslim brother will not be desreving of the mercy of Allah as long 
as he does not purge his heart of it. 

Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethern who were before us in 
the Faith, and place not in our hearts any rancour toward those 
who believe. Our Lord! You are full of Pity, Merciful. 


Rej oincing At The Misfortune of Others 

(^JL.jJl eljj) JQftj'^ Willi 

(293/53) It is related by Wasilah bin al-Asqa' that the Messenger 
of Allah said: "Do not rejoice the misfortune of a brother. (It 
is quite possible) that, (as a result of it), Allah will deliver him 
of his misfortune and afflict you with it." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: Like envy, the vicious habit of taking delight in the 
loss or suffering of anyone, too, is highly repugnant to Allah, and, 
sometimes, He inflicts punishment for it, even in this world, by 
removing the other man's distress and sending it down on those 
who rejoice at it. 

Mildness and Affability 

Mildness, lenity and readiness to oblige and put others at ease 
are virtues of the highest order in the Islamic design of morality. 

(294/54) It is related by Sayyidah Ayshah i«* £1 that the 
Messenger of Allah Wi said: Allah is compassionate and iikes 
toleration and forbearance. (He wants the bondsmen to be kind 


Meaning and Message of (he Traditions Pari U 

and gentle to each-other). He grants more to the kind-hearted 
and the them to those who are harsh and severe." (Muslim) 

Commentary: Some people are ill-tempered and harsh in their 
behaviour, while others are mild and good-natured. A common 
misconception is that people who are ruthless and unrelenting are 
more successful in life. The above Tradition dispels it. 

First of all. it draws attention to the virtue of kind-heartedness 
and amiability, and says that it is a Divine Attribute, and Allah 
wants His bondsmen to be mild and sympathetic in their dealings 
with one another. It, then, goes on to assure that success or failure 
depends on the Will of Allah, and whatever takes place in the 
world is at His command. The practice of the Lord is that He gives 
more on kindliness and good nature than on severity and sterness. 
In fact. Allah does not grant as much on anything else as on 
warm-heartedness and compassion. It is. thus, in one's own interest 
to be kind and considerate to others in social behaviour as well as 
monetary dealings. In other words, whoever wishes Allah to be 
compassionate to him and fulfil his wants should show compassion 
to others and make tolerance the rule of his life. 

(295/55) Jarir related to us. saying that the Prophet i|& said: 
"Whoever is devoid of kindness is devoid of all virtue." (Muslim) 

Commentary: It shows that kind-heartedness is such a noble 
quality that whoever does not possess it, has. as one would say, no 
virtue in him. 

Or. to put it differently, many good and commendable human 
qualities have their roots in kind-heartedness, and a person who is 
not blessed with it has very little of goodness in him. 

(296/56) Sayyidah Ayshah <&i ^ j said that the Messenger of 

The Book of Manners 


Allah % said: "He who is given his share of gentleness is given 
his share of the good of this world and the next, but he who is 
deprived of his share of gentleness is deprived of his share of 
the good of this world and the next." (Baghawi, Sharah as-Sunna) 

%\ &j nfa 4*'& J*e& to ft ^ ^ Y/o v ) 

ft* H\ M * % ^ & 

(297/57) It is reported by Sayyidah Ayshah i«* & that the 
Messenger of Allah S said: "Allah does not grant kindness to a 
family without giving them benefit, and He does not deprive 
them of it without injuring them." (Baihaqi) 
Commentary: It is the practice of Allah that when He grants 
gentleness to a family. He grants them thereby many benefits and 
blessings but those whom He deprives of it. He deprives of them of 

Among the characteristics of man, gentleness and harshness 
have a large sphere of use. A person who is harsh will be rude to 
his family, relatives and neighbours, and to his students and 
subordinates. The result is that he will find his life miserable and 
make the life of other people miserable. 

On the other hand, the kindhearted, gentle person will find his 
life comfortable and make other people comfortable and peaceful 
too. Mildness grows love and compassion while hard-heartedness 
grows hatred and enmity. 

These are a few examples of the consequences of the two 
characteristics which we experience in our daily life. The 
consequences in the hereafter can be imagined from the sayings of 
the Prophet 0. 

$*k\J*h\ to ft ft & 0* A/o A) 

(298/58) Abdullah ibn Mas'ud 4& relates that the Messenger of 
Allah m said: "May I tell you of the man who is forbidden to 
the Fire of Hell, and the Fire of Hell is forbidden to him? (Now, 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part 11 

listen: The Fire of Hell is forbidden to him) who is not harsh of 
temperament, but mild and gentle, and feels warmly for others." 

(Abu Dawood and Tirmizi) 

Commentary: It tells that a person who is soft-hearted and has a 
sympathetic nature and is friendly and sociable, and the others, too, 
feel drawn to him shall go to Heaven. 

As it has been explained, over and over again, since the 
Companions sfa had realised fully from the commandments of the 
Qur'an and the teachings of the holy Prophet $k and those who 
possess some knowledge of the Faith know it clearly even today, 
that happy tidings, like it, appertain only to people who believe and 
observe the principal religious duties, it was, generally, not found 
necessary to mention it, in so many words, every time such tidings 
were given. But, we must always keep this elemantary condition in 
the mind. It is a fundemantal principle of Islam that without Faith, 
deeds and morals have no value in the sight of Allah. 

(299/59) It is related by Harithah ibn Wahb4&>that the 
Messenger of Allah & said: "A rude and ill-tempered person 
shall not go to Heaven." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: In order to emphasise the foulness of a deed and 
discourgae men from acting that way, it is, sometimes, said that 
whoever will do so or behave like it shall not enter Heaven. The 
aim, simply, is to indicate that such an act or habit is not worthy of 
a Believer, and is likely to prove a hinderance in his progress 
towards Paradise. True Believers and earnest seekers of salvation 
should, therefore, keep away from it. 

The essential meaning of Sayyidina Harithah ibn Wahb's 
narrative, too, isthe same. 

Forebearance of The Prophet 

&t J* ,JL,3 JU ijii cJJ^ jii jS\ > ( r. ./v) 

The Book of Manners 


(300/160) Anas 4fa relates " I remained in the service of the 
Messenger of Allah $m for ten years in Madinah, and being a 
young boy, every act of mine was not to the liking of the 
Prophet (1 often, used to commit misktakes owing to my 
adolescence). But during the whole of that period (often years), 
the Prophet never admonished me even once, nor asked why 
I did or did not do such-and-such a thing." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: Sayyidina Anas <&> was about ten years old at 
the time of Hijrati, and it was at that time that his mother, Umm 
Sulaym, gave him, permanently, in the service of the holy Prophet 
S. He, thus, served the Prophet S till the last day of the latter's 

In it, he tells that though, due to his young age, he, often, 
neglected his duties, the Prophet ill did not reproach him, even 
once, or take him to task. It is not an easy thing to do, of course, 
but this is the standard set for the Believers by the holy Prophet 0. 

Self-Restraint of The Manners Stressed By The 
Holy Prophet 31 is to Control One's Tempers 

(301/61) It is related by Abu Hurayrah <^fe that once, a person 
said to the Prophet m: "Give me some (good) advice". The 
Prophet $1 replied: "Do not lose your temper". The man asked 
repeatedly, and the Prophet i$| gave the same reply: "Do not 
lose your temper." (Bukhari) 

Commentary: It appears that the questioner was an unusually 
hot-tempered person, and, for him, the best and most useful advice 
was to exercise self-control. 

Among the undsirable habits, anger, doubtlessly, is most 
hurtful. Under its influence, a man cares neither for the Divine 
injunctions nor for his own gain or loss. He becomes a plaything in 
the hands of the devil. 

O. The Migration of the Prophet from Makkah to Madinah which happened in 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

In another Tradition, it is stated that "anger spoils Faith as aloe 
spoils honey." (Kitab ul-lmari) 

It should, however, be noted that only such anger is forbidden 
which is for the satisfaction of a personal grievance and when 
overcome by it. a man is likely to become heedless of the limits 
prescribed by Allah. But an anger that is for the sake of Allah, and 
actuated by considerations of truth and justice, and does not go 
beyond the limits of the law of Allah is a sign of perfection in Faith 
and a reflection of the Divine Attributes of Power and Majesty. 

A Wrestler is He Who Overcomes Anger 

. ,. , * * , ^ 

(302/62) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4& that the Messenger of 
Allah said: "He is not a wrestler who overpowers his rival, 
but he who keeps himself under contorl when roused to anger." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: It shows that the most dangerous enemy of man. 
against whom he should always remain on guard, is his own self, 
and to keep it in check when one is provoked is not in every body's 
power. Hence, a real wrestler or strong man is he who restrains 
himslef when enraged and does not do a thing that may be wrong 
or undesirable. 

We, further, learn, from it that what Allah and the Prophet & 
demand of us is not that we never get angry. — it is a natural 
tendency from which even the Prophets ^> were not exempt, 
but that we do not lose control over ourselves when provoked and 
avoid behaving in a way that is repugnant to the spirit of servitude 
to Allah. 

What to Do When Aroused? 

(i£X* jJlj X**-\ i\ jj) 

The Book of Manners 


(303/63) It is related by Abu Zarr Ghiffari that the 
Messenger of Allah $1 said: "When anyone of you is roused to 
anger, he should sit down if he is standing. If the anger subsides 
(as a reslut of it), well and good, and if it does not, he should lie 
down." (Musnad Ahmad and Tirmizi) 

Commentary: The holy Prophet 0 has suggested a psychological 
remedy, in it, for the control of one's feelings when aroused, and 
there is no doubt about its efficacy. Another advantage of it is that 
by sitting down firmly at a place, or, still more, by lying down, the 
possibility of many nasty and harmful things a man, genarally, does 
in anger is reduced. 

(304/64) It is related by Abdullah ibn Abbas u** it ^ that the 
Messenger of Allah ft said: "Instruct the people in Religion; 
teach Religion; and make the education easy. Do not make it 
difficult. And when anyone of you is feeling angry, he should 
keep quiet." (The narrator adds that the Prophet ft said the last 
thing thrice). (Musnad Ahmad and Tabarani) 

$\ UlaJ US j jtlll jf & jUbuIJI tA^' «Sf Si 

(3 jb j*t »i jj) • '*JP 

(305/65) It is related by Atya ibn Urwah that the Messenger of 
Allah ft said: "Anger is roused under the influence of Satan, 
(one goes beyond the limits laid down by Allah under the 
influence of the Devil), and Satan has been created from fire, 
and fire is put out with water. So, when anyone of you is seized 
with anger, let him perform wudhu 1 . (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: It tells of an excellent method of controlling one's 
temper which is more effective than all the other methods. If a 
person can remember this Tradition when his anger is aroused and 
get up and perform the wudhu throughly and well, his temper will 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

cool down immediately, and he will feel that the water used in it 
was falling directly on the flames of indignation. 

Superiority of Suppressing One's 
Anger for The Sake of Allah 

tf (JL-j &h JU> J* J* $M Vn i) 

(306/66) It is related by Abdullah ibn Umar 4&> that the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "No one drank a draught superior, 
in the sight of Allah, to the draught of anger that was drunk with 
the intention of earning His good pleasure." (Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: To 'drink' anger is an idiom in the Arabic language, 
as it is in Urdu, and perhaps, it has been borrowed in Urdu from 
Arabic. What the above Tradition seeks to convey is that though 
there are many things which people drink and it is pleasing to the 
Lord when they do so, nothing gives Him greater pleasure than that 
a person 'drank' anger for His sake. 

In the words of the Qur'an, one of the distinguishing qualities 
of the virtuous bondsman for whom Paradise has been laid: 

( \ r i :r J*> ^uli cf ^uii j j^fct£Ji ) 

"they control their wrath, and are forgiving towards 
mankind " (Aal-e-Imran 3:134) 

&&fe&toJȣS\$&Mjji*& ( r.Y/nv) 
u4s fa <£>uii y*'* te> ti& j ft 6& p& 

' r , 

(307/67) It is related by Sahl ibn Mu'az, on the authority of his 
father, that the Prophet 0 said: "Whoever drinks his anger 
when he is in a position to quench it, i.e., suppresses anger, 
solely for the sake of Allah, although he can give vent to his 
feelings, and refrains from visiting his wrath upon the person 
who incurs it, Allah will call him to Himself, in the presence of 

O. Ablution performed before prayer 

The Book of Manners 


everyone, on the Day of Resurrection, and tell him to choose 
whichever bride he like from among the brides of Heaven." 

(Tirmizi and Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: As we all know, when, a man is enraged, his 
foremost desire is to give expression to his anger. Thus, anyone 
who will control his feelings and forgive the person or prsons who 
have angered him, for the sake of Allah, and in spite of having the 
power to punish them, his reward, in the Hereafter, will be that the 
Almighty will summon him to His presence, before the whole 
creation, and tell him to select, in return for the sacrifce, whoever 
he liked from among the brides of Paradise. 

(308/68) Sayyidina Anas has said that the Messenger of 
Allah said: If one guards his tongue, Allah will conceal his 
secrets; if one restrains his anger, Allah will keep His 
punishment from him on the Day of Resurrection; and if one 
makes his excuse to Allah, He will accept his excuse." (Baihaqi) 


(309/69) Ibn-i- Abbas relates that the Messenger of Allah % 
said to Ashajj, leader of the tribe of Abd al Qays, "There are two 
habits of yours that are pleasing to Allah: one is forbearanc, i.e., 
not to be overcome with anger, and the other is not to act in a 
hurry." (Muslim) 

Commentary: Once a deputation of the tribe of Abd Al-Qays had 
come to meet the holy Prophet in Madinah, and, it so happened, 
that all the members of it jumped down from their mounts and 
rushed to the place where the Prophet m> was sitting except their 
leader, Munzir, who was, also, known as Ashajj. Instead of 
showing impatience, Ashajj calamly collected his luggage, and put 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

it at a safe place, and, then, took a bath and changed his clothes, 
before going to meet the Prophet 0. The Prophet 0 appreciated 
his cool and dignified way of doing things and showed it by 
making the remark we have seen above. 

Acting In A Cool And Collected Manner 

(3 10/70) It is related by Sahl ibn S'aad Sa'idi that the Prophet H 
said: "To act in a calm and collected manner (deliberation) is 
from the side of Allah, while to act in haste is from the side of 
the devil." (Tirmizi) 
Commentary: What it tells is that to perform one's duties in a 
steady and composed manner is a commendable quality and a 
Divine gift, whereas unseemly haste is a bad habit and bears the 
stamp of the devil. 

(311/71) Abdullah ibn Sarjis has quoted theProphet 0 as 
saying: "A good manner of conduct, deliberation and 
moderation are a twenty-fourth part of prophecy." (Tirmizi) 
Commentary: The objective of the hadith is to exhort people to 
adopt these three things. They are part of the characteristics of the 
Prophets ^M- 

Moderation: It calls upon us to shun extreme limits of omission 
or exaggeration. Some of the Companions resolved to carry the 
worship of Allah to the limits by fasting every day and staying 
awake all night. The Prophet S cautioned them against that and 
disallowed them to do so. Similarly, he prevented some of his 
Companions from spending all their money in the cause of Allah 
and allowed them to spends only one-third. We have seen the 
Prophet's S exhortation in the Kitab Ar-Riqaq in many of the 

The Book of Manners 


(Moderation in poverty and richness). 

Gentleness of Speech 

Gentleness or otherwise of speech is among the attributes of 
highest social significance and can have far-reaching efects. The 
holy Prophet 0, as such, has urged upon his followers to speak 
politely and gently and warned them against the use of intemperate 
language, to the extent that he did not even like them to return 
abuse with abuse. 

fitf ijMf jJLj £f it JL> <is \fi sjg 51 liju y ( r \ y/vy) 
*fc Jis j^Ip Ai <4~a*j'iii ,&Jj ^ ito ciiii 
(tf jkii iijj) oliii j w-f i5rj Jrj^ 

(312/72) Sayyidah Ayshah if* J»i ^ related to us that (once) 
some Jews called on the Messenger of Allah and (out of 
viciousness), they greeted him with As-saam-o-Alaikum 
(Instead of As-Salam-u-Alaikum) (Peace be with you). On 
realising the meaning and intention of their salutation, she 
retorted, "May it be with you, and the curse of Allah." Upon it 
the Prophet & observed: "(No, Ayshah, No). Control your 
tongue, and be polite, and guard yourself against foulness of 
speech." (Bukhari) 

The Prophet & did not allowed her to relaliate harshly to the 
vicious manner of the Jews. He advised her to be mild. 

(313/73) It is related by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud 4& that the 
Messenger of Allah & said: "A faithful believer neither attacks 
with his tongue nor utters a curse nor speaks ill of anyone nor 
calls names." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: It shows that to indulge in indecent language is 
below the dignity of a true Believer. We have, already, seen the 
Tradition denoting that to revile and resort to coarse and insulting 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

speech at the time of a dispute is the quality of a hypocrite . 

fLjiJWi JU^ J^^otocJiiii;^ > ( ru/vt) 
cii U 4J cJi tfj JjiJi 4J cJi if Jjij $ iiilp cJia J^J» 

j-uii ir^ us j ^ lijii f>: > % 8£ ^ >* & 

(314/74) Sayyidah Ayshah if**^*) related to us, that (once), a 
man asked for permission to meet the Prophet 0. The Prophet 
said to us that he was a bad son (or member) of his tribe, and 
asked us to let him come. When he came, the Prophet 0 spoke 
to him very politely. (After he had gone), Sayyidah Ayshah 
if* -an said: 'Messenger of Allah &&! You spoke to him 
cheerfully although earlier you had expressed a poor opinion of 
him — that he was a bad representative of his tribe." 'The 
Prophet $1 replied: "In the judgement of Allah, the worst man, 
on the Day or Resurrection, in terms of rank, will be whom 
people may leave, i.e., avoid meeting on account of his 
rudeness." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: The sum and substance of the above Tradition is 
that even if a man is not good, we should speak to him with 
politeness, otherwise people may begin to avoid our company on 
account of our incivility, and such a man is worthless in the sight 
of Allah, and he will be in great loss in the Hereafter. 

A few points are worth elaborating in this context, 
(a) The holy Prophet 0 had, probably, wanted to tell those who 
were with him, at that time, about the man who wanted to come in 
that he was an undesirable person, and, therefore, they should take 
care not to say or do anything that was not to be said or done in the 
presence of such a man. To warn, with such an intention, against 
the wickedness or depravity of anyone does, of course, not amount 
to back-biting, On the other hand, it is our duty to do so, as the 
folowing Tradition denotes: 

O. Kitab ul-Iman. 

The Book of Manners 


"Tell people of the evil that may be present in a corrupt and 
unprincipled person so that they take care to protect themselves 
from his mischief." (KanzulUmmal) 

(b) We should talk gently even to those about whom we know 
that they are not good people. In another account of the same 
incident, mentioned in Bukhari, it is, distinctly, stated: 

The holy Prophet $1 received the man with a smile and talked 
to him pleasantly. It goes to show how wrong they are who 
suppose that one should not behave decently with men who are bad 
or vicious in one's judgement. 

Imam Bukhari, further, has quoted it directly from Sayyidina 
Abu Darda <£b, a celebrated Companion of the Prophet $1, "we 
meet and speak to many people in a pleasant and courteous manner 
whom we curse in our hearts on account of their deeds and 

If at any time, however, the expression of severity and 
dsipleasure is necessary or expedient, it will be proper to disregard 
the advice given above. 

(c) In yet another version of this Tradition in Abu Dawood, it is 
stated, that when Sayyidah Ayshah \#s- in inquired from the 
sacred Prophet 0 why he had met and spoken so politely to the 
man about whom he had said that he was not good, he replied: 
"Allah does not hold him dear who uses foul or hurtful language." 
Meaning, how could the Prophet & be discourteous and impolite 
when it was apparent that a vulgar or bitter tongue deprived a man 
of the love of Allah. 

(315/175) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4^fe> that the Messenger 
of Allah i$| said: "To speak gently is (a kind of) charity. "(Bukhari) 

Commentary: This saying is a part of a long narrative. Imam 
Bukhari has reproduced the whole of the report while, at one place, 
he has quoted only this one sentence. The meaning is obvious. To 
talk to anyone in a polite and pleasing manner is to bring joy to his 

388 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

heart which, evidently, is an act of virtue. 

The Virtue of Talking Less And 
Avoiding Vain And Rotten Speech 

Most of the quarrels arise out of evil and irresponsible talk, and 
the major sins that are commonly committed, also, are related, for 
the most part, to the tongue. The holy Prophet m, thus, has 
stressed upon his followers the need to keep their tongues under 
control and avoid gainless and rotten conversation. It is better to 
keep quiet if one had nothing good or useful to say. It is among the 
important teachings of the Prophet $1 upon which, as he tells, 
depends the salvation of man. The acceptance of the fundamental 
duties like prayers, fasting, Zakah 1 and Hajj 2 , and their effulgence, 
too, is contigent on the control of the tongue. 

(fa jjtf* JU)> Jji; « CiS Jli iU* je- (T \ Wt) 

4i>3 J£* j>\ 'j. cib Ail Jii juii j* ^J*:&. fa 

***** .** 1 ' ** i 1 4 r * i, *\* . V, * ' * * * * i i * ** A 

*1oj_« U~Jj <U JjJU *}| j <U»1 JL*J 4^1p ^JUJ 4»1 Aj-Ij J* ^1* jl-J 

jUi ;di ^ ur kk*i\ ^ ^2*Ji «? ^Ji ^0? 

£riiuji # ^ yi*d* jtf i <J> ^ j£> 5jUj 

cii **il^ sj^ j •Sj^jj*^ ujdii *f Jli £i ^ 
olL- 53^3 s^LaH >^ J-*j J^ > j)i j u ^l; 

JU-U > ^\l'JtdM^ l_^SCm * Jli .ilfjt 

(^U^Ij^JL.^jJUs-liljj) .j^iJlaJU^Vi^jSrlii 

(316/76) Sayyidina Mu'az one day asked the Messenger of 
Allah W>\ "Tell me of something on account of which I may 
gain admission to Heaven and stay away from Hell." "You 

O, Obligatyory Charity, payable to a fixed rate. 
©. Pilgrimage to Makkah. 

The Book of Manners 


asked a great thing", replied the Prophet "But, (in spite of 
its gravity and magnitude), it is easy for whom Allah makes it 
easy. Now, listen. First of all, worship Allah and associate no 
one with Him, and offer prayer correctly, and pay Zakah, and 
keep fasts, and perform Hajj." The Prophet $1, then, asked: 
"May 1 also, tell you about the doors of goodness? 1 " Seeing the 
keenness of Sayyidina Mu'az 4&&, he went on to say: "Fasting is 
a shield (to protect against sins, and against the Fire of Hell), 
and charity puts out the sins, (and the fire that results from 
them), in the same way as water extinguishes the fire, and the 
same is the case with prayer of the middle part of the night 
{Tahajjud)". Then he recited the following verse from Surah 
Sajda regarding the superiority of Tahajjud and Sadqa 

Who forsake their beds (in the night) to cry unto their Lord, in 
fear and hope, and spend of what We have bestowed upon them. 


The Prophet then asked, "May I (also) tell you of the heads of 
matter (Faith), and its pillar and highest peak?" "Do, please", 
replied Mu'az. Thereupon, he said: "The head or upper end of 
Faith is Islam, and its pillar is prayer, and highest peak is 
Jihaa 2 ." He, further, asked: "May I tell you of the thing upon 
which it all rests, i.e., without which these things are of no 
value?" "Do, please", Mu'az replied. The Prophet then, held 
his tongue (between his fingers), and said: "Check it. (Keep the 
tongue under control and do not let it function freely and 
without restraint)". Upon it, Sayyidina Mu'az enquired: "Will 
we, also, be called to account for what we say?" "May my 
mother weep over you 3 ", exclaimed the Prophet fflt. "People 
will be cast head foremost (or nose foremost?) into Hell mainly 

O. The holy Prophet had, as it were so far told Sayyidina Mu'az At 
about the basic tenets of Islam. He, latter on, asked him if he wanted to know 
about .the other sources of goodness by which, he probably, meant the 
supererogatory deeds of worship. 

©. Meaning to exert oneself to the utmost, even to the extent of laying down 
one's life, in the path of Allah. In common parlance, it denotes a war fought in 
the defence of Faith. 

©. An expression of affection in the Arabic language. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

owing to the indicretions of their tongues." 

(Musnad Ahmad. Tirmizi and Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: In it, referecne of fasting and Sadaqa by the sacred 
Prophet as the "doors of goodness", after he had spoken of the 
principal tenets of Islam, denotes, in our view, the supererogatory 
fasts and charity, and. that is, probably, why he has included 
Tahajjud as well which is the most superior of all the 
supererogatory prayers. 

The Prophet has. further, declared that Islam was the 'head 
of the Faith'. Apparently. Islam, here, signifies the acceptance of it 
as one's religion, and its purport is that if a person does good deeds 
and his moral conduct and monetary dealngs. too, are up to the 
mark, but he does not confess his faith in Islam, he will be like a 
body whose arms, legs etc., may be intact, but it is headless. 

Besides the holy Prophet has described prayer as 'pillar of 
Faith', which shows that just as a building cannot endure without 
the pillar. Faith, also, does not last without prayer. The Prophet 
again, said that Jihad, was the 'highest peak of Faith.' The glory of 
Faith, obviously, is dependent on Jihad. 

The last part of the saying, for which it has been reproduced 
here, tells that all the things mentioned in it are subject to the 
condition that one guards one's tongue. The indiscretions of the 
tongue deprive the good acts of their virtue. When Sayyidina Mu'az 
4^0 expressed his surprise at it and wanted to know if men will, 
also, be called to account for what they say. the Prophet 
exclaimed that people will go to Hell mostly owing to the sins they 
commit with their tongues. In our time, we can see that the major 
evils and transgressions that are prevalent in the society, and in 
respect of which we. on the whole, are negligent are mostly related 
to the tongue. 

i^lr frUaptfi jii jit \i\ jii 'Jy j*(r\ v/vv) 

ojj UiisJ-J $ 3o Uli UJ 'ill jjJl Jjisi jllljl 

(317/77) Sayyidina Abi Sa'eed 4& reported the Prophet $b as 
saying that when a man gets up in the morning all the limbs 

The Book of Manners 


humble themselves before the tongue and say, "Fear Allah for 
our sake, for we are dependant on you; it you are straight we are 
straight, but if you are crooked we are crooked 1 ." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: The hadith preceeding this one told us that many- 
people will go to Hell because of the wrong use of the tongue. This 
hadith informs us that all the limbs request the tongue very humbly 
that it should control itself for their success or failure depended on 
how it conducted itself, hence it must show mercy to them. 
Another hadith singles out the heart with this peculiarity. 

<dT Ji~*Jl JUJ litj aIT jujJi ^UcMji 

It means that all the limbs of a man depended on the heart for 
their well-being or otherwsie. There is, however, no contradiction 
in the two. It is the heart actually but the tongue as its representive 
is mentioned in the above hadith as a limb that can be seen. 

(318/78) Sahl ibn Sa'ad relates that the Messenger of Allah % 
said: "Whoever undertakes to guard his tongue and his private 
parts, 1 take for him the responsibility of Paradise." (Bukhari) 
Commentary: Apart from the tongue, it is the private parts, 
among the limbs of a man, whose protection against improper use 
is of highest importance. Hence, in this Tradition, the holy Prophet 
ife has stated that he could give the assurance of Paradise, on 
behalf of Allah, to anyone who promised not to use his tongue 
improperly as well as to keep his sexual desires within the limits of 
the Divine law. 

It may be advisable, again, to stress that exhortations like these 
of the sacred Prophet H, are addressed to believing men and 
women who have realised the basic truth, through his teachings, 
that such assurances hold good only for the bondsmen who believe 
and observe the fundamental duties. 

O. Mishkat Al-Masabih, V2 PI 009. (Robson) Sh: Muhammad Ashraf, Lhr: 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Pari II 

(319/79) Narrates Sufyan ibn Abdullah Thaqafi that he asked 
the Messenger of Allah S: Which is the most dangerous 
among the things in respect of which you have the fear 
concerning me (that I will be guilty of them)"? The Prophet H , 
thereupon, held his tongue (between the fingers), and said: "The 
greatest danger is from it." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: What it shows is that there was no greater danger to 
Sayyidina Sufyan ibn Abdullah Thaqafl from another evil than that 
he indulged in filthy, vicous or fruitless talk. He should, hence, be 
careful about it. Maybe, the questioner was a sharp-tongued fellow, 
and, hence, the holy Prophet 0 thought it necessary to sound the 

(i-J £k' * J^j J15 Jl! j>p ^> xJ> > (r Y • /A . ) 

(320/80) It is related by Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'Aas that the 
Messenger of Allah m said: "Whoever observes silence will 
attain salvation." (Musnad Ahmad, Tirmizi, Darami and Baihaqi) 
Commentary: It denotes that a person guards his tongue against 
foolish and undesirable talk is saved from punishment in the life 
after death. 

As we have, already, seen in Sayyidina Mu'az's narrative, 
people will be cast headlong into Hell owing to the misuse of their 

^S>y^ j££ jiii u cia 

(321/81) 'Uqba ibn 'Aamir has narrated that when he met the 
Messenger of Allah S once^he asked him: "What is the secret 
of salvation?" The Prophet 0 replied: 'Keep your tongue under 
control and let there be room enough for you in your house, and 
shed tears over your sins before the Almighty. (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: The meaning of exercising restraint over one's 
tongue and weeping over one's sins in the presence of Allah is 
clear. As for the second advice, that it should be that there was 

The Book of Manners 


enough space for oneself iri one's house, it denotes that people 
should better stay at home and take an interest in their household 
affairs devote themselves to worship instead of wasting their time 
in aimless wandering. 

As we know, the habit of staying out unnecessarily and moving 
here and there pruposelessly can lead to numerous ills and evils. 

Vi > 4 ( jii iL) 4*'& JU in 'J-^'J- <rr y/at) 
j^uji j*p u «^ ^-Jj tidJij jirfJ^ jl^-3 J}£ J 1 * ^ 

(322/82) Sayyidina Anas quoted the Messenger of Allah 
as saying: "Shall I not guide you, Abu Zarr, the two qualities 
that are very light on the back, but very heavy in the scale?" On 
his replying, "Certainly", he said: "Long silence and a good 
character. By Him in whose hand my soul is, mankind can do 
nothing to compare with them." 1 (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: As, indeed, we have pointed out, the meaning of 
long silence is to refrain from unnecessary and undesirable speech. 
Such a person will automatically speak less. The Messenger of 
Allah ^1 needed to speak much to guide people, even those who 
are born later upto the Day of Resurrection; therefore, he did not 
diminish on the necessary speaking. He taught every minor and 
major thing. 

In spite of that, the Companions 4s> described him in these 

A i 

The Messenger of Allah observed long silence. 2 and 
He spoke only when he hoped for reward on his speech. 3 

O. Mishkat Al-Masabih, V2 pi 01 3. 

©. Baghawi, on the authroity of Jabir 

©. Tabarani, on the authroity of Al-Hasan ibn Ali 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

jS j> ^Jt ft^itj ii^jli J>1 At JL3» Jk\ J>-3 

(323/83) Imran ibn Hittan, a taba'ee 1 , related to us, saying: '(One 
day), as I went to see Abu Zarr Ghiffari, I found him sitting 
alone in the mosque, wrapped is a black blanket. 'Oh, Abu Zarr!' 
I said to him. 'Why this seclusion?' He replied: 'I have heard the 
Messenger of Allah H> say: 'To be alone in better than to sit 
with bad companions, and to sit with a good companion is 
better than to be alone, and to tell a good thing to anyone is 
better than to keep quiet, and to keep quiet is better than to tell a 
bad thing'." (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: The virtue of silence lies only in comparsion to 
foolish or vicious speech, otherwise to tell a good and useful thing 
is better than to keep quiet. Similarly, it tells that though solitude is 
better than the company of undesirable persons, the society of good 
and virtuous men is preferable to remaining alone. 

Note: As we know that the nature of different people as also' 
their inclinations vary. The teachings of the Messenger of Allah 
take into account these variations. For instance, some people find it 
unbearable to meet those people whom they do not like and they 
find it damaging to meet such people. The foregoing hadith has 
instructions for such people. However there are some who tolerate 
meeting those that they do not like and try to reform them thereby. 
They are able to protect themselves from the evil influences of 
those people. There arc instructions for such in other ahadith of the 
Prophet ill which we will see later. 

This is what we see in the lives of the different Companions 

and those that followed them. And, this variation in human nature 

is accomodated in the teachings of the Prophet Those 

harrow-minded people who wish to see everyone in colour have 

O. followers; companions; attendants. The term is applied par excellence to the 
Muslim doctors who followed the immediate Ashab or Companions j-fj 
of the holy Prophet and whose reports and narratives regarding the 
Prophet €2fc form part of the Sunnah. 

The Book of Manners 


not truely pondered over the all-encompassing, broad teachings of 

On Giving Up What Is Foolish And Absurd 

jfi sijjj <-u*-i j ^£)u 4t jj) *li<u Vii tj*^ Cr**" ht 

(324/84) It is related by AH Ibn al-Husain Zainul Abedin 4e> 
that the Messenger of Allah ill said: "It, also, is a part of the 
beauty and perfection of Faith that one abandoned what was not 
necessary and useful to him." 

(This Tradition has been quoted, as a Mursal , by Imam Maalik 
in Mmvalla, and by Imam Ahmad in Musnad, on the authority 
of Sayyidina Ali ibn al-Husain <^> and by Ibn Majah in the 
Simon, on the authority of Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah 4^>, and by 
Imam Tirmizi, in his Jam'aa, and Baihaqi in Sh'ab-al-Iman, in 
the same form and from the same narrators). 

Commentary: It shows that to give up or desist from what is 
worthless is a sign of perfection in Faith. 

Tale- Bearing 

Among the detestable habits that are related to the tongue and 
tave been condemned by the holy Prophet Hi as a grievous sin. a 
nost common is tale-bearing or carrying of reports from one 
person to another with a view to posioning their relations and 
naking them mistrustful of each other. Since promotion of mutual 
iffection and sympathy is among the aims and objects of raising up 
of the Prophet Hfe, to the extent that, in some Traditions, these 
social moral attributes have been described as more important than 
duties of worship, anything that creates bad blood between two 
persons and gives rise to suspicion and hatred must be a sin of the 
highest order. Anyhow, tale-bearing has been denounced by the 
sacred Prophet ill as a most hateful offence against the law of 

O. Some times a Tubu'ee relates a Tradition, but does not mention the name of 
the Companion through whom it had reached him. Such a Tradition is called 
Mursal in the special terminology of Islam. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Allah and warned the perpertrators of it of a painful sequel in 

(325/85) It is related by Huzaifah 4& that he heard the 
Messenger of Allah 0, say, "The tale-bearer shall not enter 
Heaven." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: It shows that tale-bearing is such a despicable habit 
that no one possessing it will be able to gain admission to Paradise 
except, of course, that Allah may forgive him out of His Mercy. 

(326/86) Abdur Rahman ibn Ghanam ^> and Asma bint Yazid 
if* k have reported the Prophet $1 as saying, "The best 
slaves of Allah are those who when they are seen cause Allah to 
be remembered and the worst slaves of Allah are those who go 
about slandering, who separate friends, and seek to distress or 
lead to sin the upright. 1 (Masnad Ahmad, Baihaqi) 

Commentary: This hadith tells us of the distinctive signs of the 
slaves of Allah. The worst of them are those who are tale-bearers, 
separators of friends and who distress slaves of Allah. Thus we 
must make friends with the first type of people and shun the evil 

ifeife'h JU>J^Jtf Jli#^J^ (VYY/AY) 

(327/87) It is related by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud tha't the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "None of my Comapnions should 
carry tales concerning another (Companion) to me. I want that 
O. Mishkat Al-Masabih, v2 pl014 ' - 

The Book of Manners 


when I met you, my heart should be free from taint (against 
everyone). 1 ' • (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: Its purport is that people should avoid even 
listening to things against others that are likely to produce the 
feelings of anger or enmity in their hearts. It should, however, be 
clear that there can be occasions on which it may be in the interest 
of the Faith or necessary from the viewpoint of the Shari'ah to say 
or hear such a thing. In such an event, the rule will not apply. 

Slander And Back-Biting 

Speaking ill of others behind their backs, scandal-mongering, 
slander and vilification are moral vices that are more woeful in 
their consequence than tale-bearing. Back-biting, malicious 
upbraiding, and spreading false reports against anyone that tend to 
cause him pain or injures his reputation is the height of 
perversitive. To stress the foulness of back-biting, it has been 
likened in the Qur'an and the Traditions to eating the flesh of one's 
dead brother', 

fLj JU> JlS JVS iJLtfl fa 4} j> (t Y A/A A) 

tj oltiUii Htji jU#i JL; # *ul ; &\ ^ ^ u 

Ajjjfi 4)11 £SJ 4jjjP 4>t gS£ ^IjJ* ^Jj J* (^?JJ^ 'jM 

(328/88) It is related by Abu Barzah Al Aslami 4& that the 
Messenger of Allah mt said: "O people who have affirmed Faith 
(only) with the tongue, and Islam has not yet entered into their 
hearts! Do not speak ill of Muslims behind their backs, and do 
not pry into their secrets, for whoever does so, Allah, too, will 
treat him in the same manner, and whoever will be treated like 
that, from the side of Allah will be made lowly and debased, by 
Him, in his own house." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: It shows that to malign and vilify a Muslim and 
speak ill of him behind his back is the characteristic of a hypocrite 
and only those will do so who are Muslims simply in name and 
their hearts are devoid of real Faith. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part h 

(Ajbjiifijj) ■fff^ 1 ^' 
(329/89) It is related by Anas that the Messenger of Allah 
A said: "During Mi'raj\ I passed by some people whose nails 
were red like copper, (and) they were scratching their faces and 
breasts with them. I enquired about them from Jibril as to who 
they were that such a terrible punishment was being inflicted 
upon them. Jibri! replied that they used to eat the flesh of men in 
their lives i.e., spoke ill of them and played foul with their 
reputations." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: Apparently, the nails of these persons had become 
red like copper in the heat of the fire of Hell and it was with them 
that they were scratching and wounding their faces and chests. In 
Barzakh 2 , this punishment was, particularly, prescribed for them 
because back-biting was their favourite pastime in the world 
which, as we have just seen, was similar to eating the flesh of one's 

&j ' * & ±& #h iS3) *3*'it ±& 4# i# j*> 

(330/90) It is related by Abu Sa'eed Khudri and Jabir u«* ii ^ 
that the Messenger of Allah said: "Back-biting is worse than 
adultery". He was asked: Messenger of Allah How can 
back-biting be worse than adultery?" He explained: "If a person, 
unfortunately, commits adultery, he can be forgiven by Allah if 
he offers repentance but a back-biter will not be forgiven until 
he is forgiven by the person he had spoken ill of behind nis 
back -" (Baihaqi) 

1 . The ascension of the Holy Prophet to Heaven; the Journey by Night 

2. The interval between death and the resurrection on the Day of Resurrection. 

The Book of Manners 


(331/91) Abu Hurayrah 4& related to us that one day the 
Messenger of Allah H said: "Do you know what is 
back-biting?" "Allah and His Messenger know best", the 
Companions replied. The Messenger of Allah tip, 
thereupon, observed : "When you talk about a brother in a way 
that hurts or harms him, it is back-biting". "Would it, also, 
amount to back-biting if I spoke of an evil of my brother that 
was, actually, present in him?" asked the Companion. "It will be 
back-biting only when the evil is present in him, while if it is 
not present (in him), it will be slander (which is even worse than 
back-biting)," the Prophet & replied. (Muslim) 
Commentary: This hadith tells us of the difference between 
back-biting and slander. It should, however, be noted that in case, 
it became necessary to relate, truthfully, the fault or viciousness of 
an individual or group to others out of goodwill and sincerity to the 
bondsmen of Allah or for the eradication of an evil or mischief, or 
should the realisation of an objective relating to the Shari'ah or 
morality be dependent on it then it will not amount to the 
back-biting which is forbidden by the Shari'ah and is a major sin. 
On the other hand, in certain circumstances, it will be a virtuous 
act, meriting reward in the future. 

Thus to depose against a criminal before an officer of the realm 
or to warn the people against a professional cheat or the rebutting 
of evidence of false and unreliable narrators by the scholars of the 
Traditions, or the acquaint the people with the errors of treacherous 
pedlars in Faith by religious docotrs, will all, belong to the same 


It is the habit of some people that when there is a dispute or 
enemity between two persons or groups they speak to each of them 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

in an unfavourable way about the other. In the same way , some 
people show friendliness and sincerity when they meet a person, 
but speak ill of him or act against his interests behind his back. It is 
a form of hypocrisy and has been condemned in the serverest terms 
by the sacred Prophet 0. 

( 332/9 ^h is related by Abu Hurayrah 4& that the Messenger of 
Allah m said: "On the Day of Resurrection, the biggest loser 
will be the double-faced person who talks in one voice when he 
goes to one party, and, in another voice when he goes to the 
other party." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: We can imagine the frightful sequel that awaits a 
dissembler and hypocrite of that class, in the Hereafter, from the 
Tradition that follows. 

(333/93) It is related by Ammar ibn Yaasir that the Messenger 
of Allah m said: "Whoever is double-faced in the world, i.e. 
talks to different people in different voices, there will be two 
tongues of fire in his mouth on the Day of Resurrection. 

(Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: Good manners and good deeds on which there is 
the promise of a reward in the Hereafter are of different kinds and 
belong to different grades. Similarly, bad manners are evil deeds on 
which there is the warning of a penalty in After-life, too, are of 
different kinds and grades. The Almighty, in His infinite wisdom, 
has prescribed a reward or punishment on every good or evil act in 
proportion to . its goodness or evilness. Thus, for double-dealing, 
the punishment on the Day or Reckoning will be that there will be 
two tongues of fire in the mouth of such a man. 

It is significant to note that some snakes, also, have two 

The Book of Manners 


There are, in fact, some faults and weaknesses that are most 
dangerous and a grave misdeed in the judgement of Allah, but we 
do not, generally, attach much importance to these vices, nor take 
enough care to avoid them. It is about such acts and iniquities that 
the Qur'an has said: 

"Ye counted it a trifle, (but) in the sight of Allah it is very . 
great." (Al-Nur24:15) 

The evil habit of hypocrisy and double-dealing, too, is one of 
them. Many of us are apt to regard it an ordinary matter though 
both the aforementioned Traditions tell how sinful it is to indulge 
in it and what a grievous penalty has been readied in the Hereafter 
for those who play a double game or speak in two voices. 


Truthfulness and Trustworthiness are virtues of foremost 
importance in Islam. In the words of the sacred Prophet 0, these 
are the pre-requisites of Faith. Without them, no one can be a true 
Muslim. In Kitab al-Iman we have seen the Tradition that to tell a 
lie, to betray a trust and to break a pledge are the special signs of a 
hypocrite. A person in whom these attributes are present is a 
dissembler, not a faithful Believer. We have, again, examined the 
''Traditions that "in whom there is no trustworthiness, in him there 
is no Faith", and "a true Believer can never be a habitual liar." 

We now, proceed to take up the Traditions in which the holy 
Prophet 0 has directly exhorted us to. cultivate these qualities, and 
keep away from the filthy habits of falsehood and unfaithfulness to 
a trust. 

Trurthfulness A nd Falsehood 

jtffo & jJL^lv J£ 

(334/94) It is related by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud that the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "Observe truthfulness as a duty 
and always speak the truth, for truthfulness puts you on the path 
of virtue, and virtue leads you to Heaven, and when a person 
tells the truth as a rule, and makes truthfulness a way of life, he 

404 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

attains the place of sincerity and faithfulness, and, with Allah, 
his name is written as a truthful. And stay strictly away from 
falsehood, for falsehood puts you on the path of immorality, and 
leads you to Hell, and when a man takes to lying, the sequel is 
that his name is written, with Allah, as a great liar." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: What it seeks to convey is that truthfulness, besides 
being a noble habit, in itself, makes a man virtuous in other spheres 
of life as well, and one who habitually, speaks the truth attains the 
high station of those who are eminently truthful, in the sight of 
Allah. Conversely, falsehood, apart from being a filthy habit, in 
itself, gives rise to vicousness and evil doing in the other fields of 
existence, too, and makes him deserving of Hell, and the ultimate 
end of a habitual liar is identical to that of men on whom there is 
the eternal curse of Allah. 

^JLj 4^i» Ju> jul 4jp3j 4iti ^ (rfi-i* ^ 

(335/95) Narrates Abdur Rahman ibn Abu Qurad that, the 
Messenger of Allah iH Performed wudu one day, and the 
Companions *£k> began to wipe themselves with the water he 
used for it The Prophet 0 enquired (from them): "What makes 
you do it?" "The love of Allah and His Messenger", they replied. 
The Prophet thereupon, observed: "Whoever sincerly 
wishes to love Allah and His Messenger or that Allah and His 
Messenger loved him should always speak the truth when he 
speaks, and restore honesty what he has received in trust to 
whom it is due, and be good and courteous to the neighbours." 


Commentary: It tells that an essential condition of sincere 
devotion to Allah and the Prophet is thaf a man -shotild always 
speak the truth, observe trustworthiness, and 'abstain from 
falsehood and violation of faith. ' ' : " i: rii,,s! 

The Book of Manners 


(336/96) It is related by Ubadah ibn Saamit 4$b that the 
Messenger of Allah ill said: "You promise six things (to me), 
and I (shall) give you the guarantee of Paradise. (These are): 
speak the truth when you speak; fulfil a promise when you make 
one; render back honestly when a trust is placed in your charge; 
protect your private parts from a forbidden act (specially 
fornication and adultery); shut your eyes to things to look at 
which is prohibited; (and) holdback your hands on occasions on 
■which you are commanded to hold them back, (as for instance, 
do not hurt or harm anyone unjustly or stretch the hand to seize 
a thing unlawfully." (Musnad Ahmad and Baihaqi) 

Commentary: It shows that if a person has affirmed his faith in 
Islam, and observes his duties, and, also, pays attention to the six 
moral vurtues indicated in it, for him there is the assurance of 
Paradise from Allah and His Messenger, and he is destined to 
attain salvation. 

Honesty In Trade 

(337/97) It is related by Abu Sa'eed Khudri $b that the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "The honest trader will be with the 
Prophets, the Truthful and the Martyrs." 

Commentary: We learn from the above Tradition that it is not 
necessary for spiritual advancement and gaining propinquity to the 
Lord to renounce the world and abjure its affairs and interests. 
Even a trader, sitting in the market or working diligently in his 
shop or office, can win the company of the Prophets, the Truthful 
and the Martyrs, in the Hereafter, if he abides by the 

(Tirmizi.Darami.and Dara Qurni) 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

commandments of Allah and His Messenger and fulfils the 
religious obligations of honesty and trustworthiness. 

Jts jJLj Jj>$\f*$& (ttama) 

(338/98) Ubayd ibn Rifa'ah has reported on the authority of his 
father, Rifa'ah 4& that the Prophet A said, "The traders will be 
resurrected on the Day of Resurrection with the sinners except 
those of them who were Allah-fearing, pious and truthful." 

(Tirmizi, Ibn Majah, Darami) 

Falsehood And Breach of 
Trust Are Inimical to Faith 

4+'k\ JU> J^ii Jti ja lid ^ (rr \i\ O 

(339/99) Abu Umama Bahili relates that the Messenger of Allah 
f&k. said: "There is a place for any habit in the nature of Believer 
except falsehood and breach of faith. "(Musnad Ahmad and Baihaqi) 

Commentary: What it denotes is that Faith and the shameless 
habit of lying cannot co-exist. A true Muslim may have any other 
weakness, but he can never be a habitual liar and a false-hearted 
and untrustworthy person. Should, however, an evil like that be 
present in a Believer, it will show that the reality of Islam has not 
yet dawned upon him and he must cure himself of the vicious habit 
if he is not to rest content with the state of imperfection in Faith. 

Filth of Falsehood 

(340/100) It is related by Abdullah ibn Umar 4^>that the 
Messengerl of Allah said: "When a bondsman tells a lie, the 
Angel goes a mile away (from him) owing to the stench." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: Just as material things give out a pleasant or foul 

The Book of Manners 407 

odour, good or evil words or deeds, too, have their own smell, 
though, generally, it is felt by the Angels alone. Sometimes, 
however, spiritually evolved men, also, can perceive it in this 

A Most Serious Form of Perfidy 

4, 3a j& j ulJi- ^ fer 

(341/101) Sufyan bin Aseed al-Hadrami related to us that he 
heard it directly from the lips of the Messenger of Allah 0: A 
most serious form of betrayal of faith is that you tell a lie to a 
brother while he believes that you are truthful in what you say." 

(Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: Lying is a sin, in any case, and a very grave one, 
indeed, but, in certain circumstances, its seriousness becomes even 
greater. One of these is that a person trusts you and regards you a 
truthful man, but you take advantage of his confidence and tell him 
a lie and play false by him. 

Bearing False Witness And 
Swearing A False Oath 

0 ^ ^ ^ f * 3 J** **** ^ 

(342/102) Khuraym ibn Fatik has said that the Messenger of 
Allah HI offered the monring prayer (Fajr) once and then stood up 
suddenly and said, "To bear false witness is equivalent to ascribing a 
partner to Allah." He said this three times, and then recited the verse: 

"So shun the filth of idols, and shun lying speech, turning to 
Allah (only) not ascribing partners to Him." (Al-Hajj, 22:30/3 1 ) 

408 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Commentary: We have seen earlier that falsehood is a sin but 
some of its forms are very grave sin. False witness is one of those, 
and to harm someone thereby. It is bracketed with polytheism and 
idol-worship in the verse of Surah Hajj cited above. The same word 
is used to tell us to shun both the evils. This is what the Prophet A 
emphasised by standing up. 

In another hadith in Tirmizi we are told that one day he said to 
his Companions and repeated it three times, "Shall I tell you what 
the gravest sins are". He then said, "To join partners with Allah, to 
disobey parents, and to bear false witness and to lie." The narrator 
has said that he was first sitting in a recklining position, then he sat 
straight and he repeated his message freqently until the 
Companions thought that he was under a heavy pressure and 
should not burden himself. 

False Oath 

(343/103) According to Sayyidina Ibn Mas'ud 4&> the 
Messenger of Allah A said: "If anyone swears a firm oath 
acting wickedly thereby and appropriates by it property 
belonging to a Muslim, Allah will be angry when he meets Him 
on the Day of Resurrection."' (Bukhari and Muslim) 

$ fa fr'kjik &j jii ji fctfi & Crtth . t) 
^9 b C*l our 51 j Jjij u: iU & & X 

(344/104) Abu Umamah <&> reported the Messenger of Allah 
A as saying: "If anyone appropriates by his oath what rightly 
belongs to a Muslim, Allah has made Hell necessary for him and 
deprived him of Paradise." A man asked him whether that 
applies even if it were a small amount, and he said, "Even if it 

O. Mishkat Al-Masabih, VI P 800. 

The Book of Manners 


were a stick from an arak tree. 1 (Muslim) 

Commentary: That is, event it is an ordinary and worthless thing 
that he appropriates, he will go to Hell. 

(345/105) Al-Ash'ath ibn Qays said that the Messenger of Allah 
iH said: "Anyone who appropriates property by an oath will 
meet Allah in maimed condition." 2 

Commentary: All these three ahadith tell us of the consequences 
of swearing false oath. The first one tells us that such a person will 
meet Allah on the Day of Resurrection and He will be angry and 
the second tells us that Paradise is disallowed to such people while 
he will be sent to Hell. The third hadith narrated by Al-Ash'ath ibn 
Qays that such a man will be raised as a maim on the Day of 
Resurrection. There is no contradiction in these three ahadith, and 
anyone who dies before he could make .amends, may undergo each 
of these forms of punishment. 

Indeed, it is a grave sin liable to grave punishment to swear a 
false oath before a judge and, in this way, call Allah to witness to 
the lie, simply to appropriate someone's property or to dishonour 

(|JL^o»jj) s^^' 
(346/106) Abu Zarr Ghiffari 4fc> said that the Messenger of 
Allah $1 said that there were three people to whom Allah will 
. neither speak on the Day of Ressurrection, nor cast a graceful 
look on them nor purify them of sins and filth. And for them is a 
painful punishment. Abu Zarr Ghifari asked: "These people, 
then, are at a loss and hopeless."Who are they, Messenger of 

O, Mishkat Ai-Masabih, VI p 800. 
©. Mishkat Al-Masabih. VI p 803 

4 1 0 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Allah 0? He said: "He who drags his trousers below ankles, he 
who reminds of his favours and he who swears false oath to 
transact his business." (Muslim) 

Commentary: Just as it is a wrong use of Allah's name to swear a 
false oath before a judge so too it is wrong to swear before a 
customer to sell one's wares. It is also a grave kind of lie calling for 
a sever punishment on the Day of Resurreciton. A trader who is a 
liar will be deprived of speaking with Allah, His kind glance and 
Forgiveness of his sins. 

Disguised Or Imperceptible Falsehood 

We have seen a few major and more serious forms of falsehood 
in the previous sections. But there are some kinds of untruth which 
many people do not regard a lie. The sacred Prophet has 
enjoined upon us to abstain from them as well. 

JU> fe'/j iSji J jtS fte # >u£ & (nvA . v) 
inj $ Jia t^j cits 6» 4*4jS is fa Ai 

(347/107) It is related, on the authority of Abdullah ibn 'Aamir 
*^>, "Once when the Messenger of Allah was present in our 
house, my mother said to me: 'Come quickly, I will give you 
something.' The Messenger of Allah thereupon, asked my 
mother what she was going to give me. 'A date', replied my 
mother. 'Remember', observed, the Prophet, "If you had not 
given anything to the child after promising to do so, a lie would 
have been written down in your Scroll of Deeds." 

(Abu Dawood and Baihaqi) 

Commentary: The moral of it is that a lie should not be uttered 
even to coax or cajole a child, for a Muslim's tongue must always 
be free from the filthiness of falsehood. Another wisdom of it is 


that if parents will tell lies before their children, even to please 
them or make them do something, they, too, will develop the habit 
of lying, and not relaise the filthiness of lie. 

The Book of Manners 


J^M J* J* <S* & & # & 'J- Or t am - a) 

(348/108) Bahz ibn Hakeem related from his father, Mu'awiya, 
on the authority of his grandfather, Haidah, that the Messenger 
of Allah said: "Fie upon him who tells lie to make people 
laugh." (Musnad Ahmad, Tirmizi, Abu Dawood and Dajami) 

Commentary: It shows that it is forbidden to tell a lie even for 

(349/109) It is related by Abu Hurairah that the Messenger 
of Allah said, "It is enough falsehood in a man to go about 
circulating what he hears (from others). (Muslim) 

Commentary: It tells that to spread a report among the people, 
without confirmation, also, is a form of falsehood, and as a person 
with the habit of telling a deliberate lie is, commonly, treated as 
unreliable, in the same way, such a man, too, will not be worthy of 

Anyway, a Believer should, also, guard his tongue against all 
the forms of concealed or imperceptible falsehood. 

Covert Or Concealed Perfidy 

Just as people do not regard some untruth as lie, so too they do 
not consider betrayal as treacherous sometimes . 

^ (JLj & h JU> Jjij Jl5 JlS i'j.y* 'J} (ro ./u . ) 

(350/1 10) Abu Hurayrah relates that the Messenger of Allah 
il§l, once, said to Abu Al-Haysham ibn Tayhan: "Whoever is 
consulted in a matter is a trustee in respect of it, and a trust, 
(thereby), is comitted to his charge." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: This remark was made by the Prophet when 
Abu Al-Haysham had sought his advice on something. What it 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

signifies is that when a person is consulted in a matter, he should 
realise that the man who had sought his advice had placed his 
confidence in him and it was his duty to prove worthy of the trust 
and give the best advice he could, and keep the whole thing to 
himself, otherwise he will, to an extent, be guilty of breach of faith. 

(351/1 1 1) Jabir ibn Abdullah 4& relates that he heard the 
Messenger of Allah say: "When anyone says something and 
looks around then it becomes a trust." (Tirmizi and Abu Dawood) 

Commentay: It shows that if a person tells us something and does 
not ask, in so many words, to keep it a secret, but by his behaviour 
it appears that he does not want others to know it, it becomes a 
trust and should be guarded in that spirit. 

Nevertheless, in another Tradition, it is candidly stated that if a 
plot to kill anyone or to swindle or defraud him or cause him 
financial loss in any other way or injure his reputation comes to our 
knowledge, we should not keep it a secret, but inform the person 
concerned in due time and manner. Let us see that hadith. 

> £ ju £iy s <r> j\ jt> £ JcL jji*; & viiiuSw 

(352/1 12) It is related by Jabir that the Messenger of Allah 
0 said: "Meetings should be held with trust. (If a consulation is 
held at a meeting or a decision is taken in strict confidence, 
those who participate, in it should hold themselvels bound in 
trust not to disclose it). But the following meetings are excluded 
from it: one, in which it is conspired to shed anyone's blood 
unjustly; two, which is concerning the violation of anyone's 
modesty; and, three, which is aimed at acquiring anyone's 
property by force or fraud. " (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: The three conditions indicated above should be 
taken as an example. The ojbect of the Tradition is to show *hat if 
some persons collect together with the prupose of committing an 
offence, and we, too, are present there, our duty will lie not in 

The Book of Manners 


keeping it a secret, but in foiling it and informing whom it may be 
necessary to inform. 

To Say Something on One's Own In Order To Bring 
A Dispute Or Mischief To An End Is Not Falsehood 

j4 42 k\ JU > jti cJtl fjjt ft o%r o r/ n r) 
j 4* fjj) ^ i^ij »^ J 5*< cf** 

(353/1 13) It is related by Umm Kulsoom (daughter of 'Uqba ibn 
Abu Mu'ayt), that the Messenger of Allah ^ said: "He is not a 
liar or a sinner who tries to make peace among people who are 
on bad terms with one another, and, with that end, carries 
reports of goodwill and well-wishing from one party to the other 
and says good things (that may have a conciliatory effect)." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: Sometimes it happenes that there is a great deal of 
ill-will between two persons or groups which may even lead to 
bloodshed. When passions are aroused, each party, in fact, 
considers itself justified in causing as much loss and suffering to 
the other as possible. If, in these circumstances, someone strives to 
bring about reconciliation between. them, and, with that object; 
conveys things of friendliness and amity from one party to another 
which it may not have actually not been said or done, then this act 
of his will not amount to falsehood. 

Fulfilling A Promise 

To fulfil a promise is a practical form of trustworthiness while 
to break it is identical, in effect, to untruthfulness. The holy 
Prophet has, thus, stressed upon us the need to discharge every 
engagement and keep a promise when we make one. 

We have, earlier, seen the Tradition that to fulfil one's promises 
is among the few moral virtues about which the holy Prophet 
has said that he could give the assurance of forgiveness in 
After-life to those who possessed them. 

Likewise, we have quoted earlier the Tradition denoting that 
"he who does not fulfil his promise has no share in Faith." 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

(354/1 14) It is related by Abu Hurayrah ^ that the Messenger 
of Allah m said: "The signs of a hypocrite are three: "When he 
speaks, he is false; when he promises, he fails; and, when he is 
trusted, he betrays." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: While commenting on an almost identical 
Tradition, related on the authroity of Sayyidina Abdullah ibn 
Umar, we have, already, indicated, at length, what is actually meant 
by these acts or habits being the signs of a hypocrite. These 
practices, as we said, bear a close relationship with hypocrisy and a 
sincere Believer should stay clear of them. Whoever possesses 
these habits is a hypocrite, if not in the sphere of faith, at least in 
the sphere of conduct. 

In another version of the same Tradition, reproduced in Sahih 
Muslim, it is added that though such a person may be observing 
prayer and fasting, and he may, also, be professing to be a Muslim, 
he is a hypocrite, all the same, owing to these habits. 

(355/115) It is related, on the authority of "Sayyidina Ali and 
Abdullah ibn Mas'ud u** Ai ^j, that the Messenger of Allah 
0 said: "Promise, too, is a kind of debt, (and should, therefore, 
be repaid)." (Tabarani) 

Commentary: It denotes that if a person promises to give anything 
to anyone or do him some other favour or enters into an 
arrangement with him, he should fulfil it, as a matter of duty. 
Nevertheless, should the promise be relating to a thing which is 
forbidden by the Shari'ah or involves the violation of the rights of 
anyone, it will not be binding. The duty will, then, lie. in ignoring it 
and there will be no sin on its non-fulfilment, but reward for 
compliance with the holy law. 

The Book of Manners 


(356/116) Abdullah ibn Abul Hamsa has said, "I bought 
something from the Prophet $1 before he received his prophetic 
commission, and as there was something still due to him I 
promised him I would bring it to him at his place, but I forgot. 
When I remembered three days later, I went to that place and 
found him there. He said, "You have vexed me; Jl have been here 
three days waiting for you." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: This shows that he was true to his promise even 
before he became a Prophet and waited for that man for three days. 
We must know that it is not necessary to observe a promise to this 
limit according to Shari'ah but the nature of the Messenger 
demanded that. 

£ ja JU> J}ij # 4*S & Of v/n v) 

(357/1 17) Zayd ibn Arqam has said. that the Messenger of 
Allah $k said: "If someone makes an appointment with a man 
and one of them does not come before the time of prayers, if the 
one who has come goes off to pray he is guilty of no sin ."(Razin) 

Commentary: The one who has Come has fulfilled his duty. If he 
goes away to pray when it is time of prayer, or goes away to attend 
to something else then he cannot be blamed for breaking his 
promise. There will be no sin on him. 

(358/118) It is related by Zayd ibn Arqam 4» that the 

O. Mishkat Al-Masabih v2, P 1016 

4 1 6 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Messenger of Allah W> said: "If a person promises his brother to 
visit him, and it is, also, his intention to do so, but, (owing to 
some reason), he cannot go at the appointed time then there is 
no sin on him." (Abu Dawood and Tirmizi) 

Commentary: The emphasis, in it, is on intention. If the man 
really meant to fulfil the engagement, but could not do so on 
account of something or another, he will not be a defaulter in the 
sight of Allah. But if the intention was not there and it was only a 
deception then he would, doubtlessly, be called to account. 


Humility is a virtue on which a special stress is laid in the 
Qur'an and the Traditions. Man, after all, is a slave of Allah, and, 
like a good slave, it is expected of him that every act of his is 
performed with humbleness. Meekness is a mark of servitude, 
while pride is the exclusive attribute of divinity. It, thus, does not 
become a bondsman to be haughty and vainglorious. 

pLj 4*'& J+h J^3 JiS J j ^ jts&O* (To Vm) 

y* Iri rj ari y* Jtf Jfi fjt fay 51 $ j>$ 3j 

(359/1 19) It is related by Ayaz ibn Himar that the Messenger of 
Allah S& said: "Allah has revealed to me, and commanded me to 
observe humility. The effect of it should be that no one should 
oppress or be unjust to others, nor give himself airs." 

(Abu Dawood) 

(360/120) It is related that Sayyidina Umar ibn Khattab <jfe'one 
day, in the course of a sermon from the pulpit, said: "O people! 
Observe meekness for I have heard the Messenger of Allah $| 

The Book of Manners 


say: 'Whoever observes meekness, (for the sake of Allah, i.e., 
with the aim of earning His good pleasure), Allah will exalt 
him, and though he is lowly in His own judgement, others will 
hold him in esteem, and whoever is proud and vainglorious, 
Allah will reduce him to a lower condition and he will become 
worthless in the eyes of others, and though he may be having a 
high notion of himself, others will consider him worse than 
dogs and pigs'. (Baihaqi) 

** s - i' s t i * _ \ * f y r , , 

(( ^ j ^jwji »i jj) ^li; j»r£ ^ jr jiii ^ 

(361/121) Haritha ibn Wahb has said that the Messenger of 
Allah iH said: "Shall I not tell you about the inhabitants of 
Paradise? They are every weak one who if considered weak who 
if he were to swear an oath by Allah, He would keep it. Shall 1 
not tell you about the inhabitants of Hell? They are very surely, 
uncivil and proud one. (Bukahri and Muslim) 

Commentary: This hadith describes the people of Paradise as 

weak. It is not the weakness of health for one hadith says: 


ja il jjjJI ja Jbu 4Ul J\ 

(Strong believers are better and more dear in the sight of A'lah 
than the weaker ones). 

Rather, here, weak means a noble, humble and mild person who 

deals humbly with others whom others regard as weak. In 

comparison, the proud and arrogant will go to Hell. 

Another characteristic of these weak people of Paradise is that 

if they swear on Allah, Allah fulfils their promise. The Prophet S - 

wishes to emphasise that if anyone draws himself near to Allah by 

negating his own self then Allah would help him keep his promise. 

Or, if he swears an oath that Allah must help him and approve his 

supplication then He will do so. 

O. Mishkat Al-Masabih. V2 pi 058. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

(362/122) It is related by Abdullah ibn Masud 4& that the 
Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever will have pride in his 
heart, even of the weight of an atom, shall not enter Heaven." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: Greatness is for Allah in whose hands is the life 
and honour of everyone. He is Eternal and Everlasting, while 
everything else, living or non-living, is bound to perish one day. As 
the Qur'an says: 

And unto Him (alone) belongeth majesty in the heavens and the 
earth, and He is the Mighty, the Wise. (Al-Jathiyah 45:37) 

Thus, a proud and swollen-headed person who thinks too 
highly of himself and looks down upon others, so to speak, forgets 
his true state and begins to compete with the Almighty which is the 
height of insolence. It is about such a man that it is said that, owing 
to his arrogance, he will not be admitted to Paradise. 

As we have seen on various occasions in the past, when it is 
told, in the Traditions, about a misdeed that whoever is guilty of it 
will not enter Heaven, it, generally denotes that it has the effect of 
making a man unworthy of entry into Paradise or that such a 
person will not be admitted to Heaven along with the faithful 
Believers, or straightaway like them, but will have to do a spell in 

In the light of it, the above Tradition would mean that a vain 
and conceited person would not go to Heaven immediately, but pay 
the penalty of his pride in Hell, and it would be only after the 
element of vanity had been destroyed in him and he had been 
cleansed from it in the everlasting Fire, and was, also, a Believer, 
that he would enter Paradise. 

(363/J23) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger 
of Allah ^ said: "There are three men to whom Allah will not 
speak on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them. (In 

The Book of Manners 


another version of the same Tradition, it is stated that He will 
not even look at them). One, the aged adulterer (or fornicator); 
two, the lying ruler, and three, the proud pauper." (Muslim) 

Commentary: Some sins are grave in themselves but their 
seriousness becomes even greater when they are committed by 
certain persons and in certain circumstances. As for instance, to 
steal is a great sin in itself, but if a wealthy person who has no need 
to do it or a policeman or watchman commits theft, it is 
unforgivable. In the above Tradition, it is told about three such 
offenders that, on the Day of Last Judgement, the Almighty will 
neither speak to them nor sanctify them and they will remain 
deprived of His benevolence, the aged adulterer, the lying ruler, 
and the proud pauper. The reason is not far to seek. If a person has 
an illicit sexual intercourse in his younger years, he can be excused 
for to yield to sexual passions during that period of life is a natural 
weakness. But if an old man does it, he is a shameless lecher. 
Likewise, if an ordinary person tells a lies, it is understandable, but 
if a man who is in power does so, it will mean that there is no fear 
of Allah in his heart and his viciousness is beyond measure. Again, 
human nature being what it is, if a rich man gives himself airs, one 
can understand it, but when a beggar begins to behave like that, it 
is pure meanness. 

In sum, all the three kinds of men will have no share in Divine 
Mercy on the Day of Resurrection. That Allah will not 'purify' 
them, aparently, denotes that their misdeeds will not be forgiven 
and they will not be included among the faithful Believers merely 
on the ground of faith or some virtuous deeds. They will have to 
undergo chastisement in life to come. 


Modesty has a vital role to play in character-building. It 
restrains a man from behaving in an undesirable manner and acts as 
a shield against lewdness and immorality. It holds the key to piety 
and good-doing. 

lsp*)d*'h jUiiJ^ijJtS Jis^at^jj^ (nt/m) 


Meaning and Message of (he Traditions Part II 

(364/124) It is related by Zayd ibn Talhah that the Messenger of 
Allah 0 said: "Every religion has a distinctive quality, and the 
distinctive quality of Islam is modesty." 

(Mowatta, Ibn Majah and Baihaqi) 

Commentary: It shows that in every faith or canonic law, some 
particular aspect of moral behaviour receives paramount attention 
and an extraordinary emphasis is laid on it. Thus, compassion and 
forbearance form the cardinal point of the teachings of Jesus. In 
Islam, in the same way, modesty is of fundameltal significance. 

It needs, however, be emhasised that the word "modesty" is 
used in a very wide sense in the special terminology of the Qur'an 
and the Traditions. In the common usage, what it signifies, simply, 
is that a man avoided lewdness and kept away from lustful and 
indecent acts. But, in Islam, it appears that it stands for a state of 
feeling which is intolerant of everything that is not desirable and 
produces a reaction of disgust and agony within anyone who, 
knowingly or unknowingly, falls into an error or behaves in a 
manner having a semblance of sinfulness. 

We learn, further, from the Qur'an and the Traditions that 
modesty is not in relation merely to our own species, but the 
greatest claim, on it, is of the Supreme Being who created man and 
is sustaining him, from moment to moment, and from whom 
nothing is hidden. Or, let us take it this way. A modest man is, 
generally, inclined to feel shy in the presence of his parents and 
other elders and benefactors, and Allah being the King of Kings 
and the Benefactor of Benefactors, the bondsman should, naturally, 
be modest and humble, in the highest degree, in respect of Him, the 
primary requirement of which will be that he felt pain and 
repugnance at everything that was displeasing to Allah and, 
therefore, abstained from it. 

p> j3Mw J** i£> S» & $ cf or • V \ v 0 ) 

(JLj Jje&\ Sj^j Jia J i\±S &*, }ij jUitfl # 

The Book of Manners 


(365/125) It is related by Abdullah ibn Umar 4& that the 
Messenger of Allah passed by an Ansar who, [at that time], 
was advising his brother about modesty and admonishing him in 
that regard. The Prophet Wt, thereupon, said to him: "Leave him 
to his state for modesty is a part of faith." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: It tells that, among the Ansar, there was a man 
whom Allah had, particularly, blessed with the virtue of modesty 
owing to which he was very mild and lenient in his dealing with 
others. He avoided severity in the realisation of dues and did not 
like to be outspoken even when it seemed necessary. A brother of 
his who did not aprove of it was, one day, reproaching him and 
telling him that it was not good to be so timid and diffident that the 
Sacred Prophet happened to pass that way, and, on hearing the 
conversation, told the Ansar to leave his brother alone. His was a 
highly blessed condition. Modesty was a branch or fruit of Faith, 
and even if it was not profitable from the point of view of worldly 
interests, it would, surely, lead to elevation in ranks in the 

(iSX* JU*-I «1 jj) 

(366/126) Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah has said that the 
Messenger of Allah ^ said: "Modesty is apart of faith, and 
faith is in Paradise. But obsenity is a part of hardness of heart 
and hardness of heart is in Hel!." 1 (Ahmad and Tirmizi) 

Commentary: This hadith and the preceeding one tell us that 
modesty is a branch of faith, or its fruit. In a hadith in Bukhari and 
Muslim which we have rerpoduced in Kitab al-Iman, we are told: 

(Modesty is a branch of Faith) 

Anyway, there is aclose relationship between modesty and 
faith. These are different ways to describe it and the next hadith 
does that too. 

O. Mishkat Al-Masabih V2. p 1054. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part 11 

W i>\ J 15 (U^j J:* ^Ji £t ( m v/ ^ YY) 

(367/127) It is related by Abdullah ibn Uinar that the 
Messenger of Allah $1 said: "Modesty and Faith exist together, 
and when one of them is removed, the other, too, is removed." 


Commentary: It shows that Faith and modesty are so closely 
related to each other that either both will be present in ar 
individual or community or none of them. 

4*'h JL# >0 Ji; jJ jii J> fr'sl* & ( r n a/ \ y a) 

(368/ 1 28) J 4 , is related by Imran ibn Husain that the Messenger 
of Allah iH said: "Modesty brings nothing but good." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 
Commentary: On superficial view, modesty may appear to act to 
one's disadvantage, but the above Traditions insists that it, 
invariably, does good and leads to beneficial results, and even 
when from a narrow, materialistic angle, it seems to be a drawback, 
there is nothing but gain in it from the larger Islamic view point. 

Some people argue that modesty prevents some people from 
discharging their Islamic duties. This is not correct. Those people 
are prevented by their own timid nature to do so and ignorant 
people call it modesty. 

h\ faj J*>jto fej Jl5 Jul J>\ fTWm) 


(369/229) It is related by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud 4&> that the 
Messenger of Allah H said: "A familiar saying that has reached 
us from the former prophets is that when there is no modesty in 
you, do as you like." (Bukhari) 

Commentary: Though the complete teachings of the earlier 
Prophets could not remain intact, some of the sayings and precepts 
have withstood the revages of time and become proverbial, one of 

The Book of Manners 423 

which is what has been referred to by the holy Prophet mt in the 
above Tracditon: "When there is no modesty in you, do as you 
like". Which is translated in Persian: "Be shameless, and do whal 
you like." 

^ # ^1 > > ^ t>&4 &j ^ 64 jtf iUlt j 

^3 j ^ 3^ 3 ^> ^3 J*»> 

(^JL. jS Jl«tjj) fr^ 4 ^^' 
(370/130) It is reported by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud 4&> that the 
Messenger of Allah 0 said: "Show modesty to Allah as it 
should be shpwn." Someone asked, "Al-Hamdulillah! We 
observe modesty with Him." He said, "Its not that (limited), but 
to show modesty to Allah demands that you be careful of your 
head and what it thinks, of your belly and what you fill it with, 
and that you remember death and what will happen in the grave. 
He who makes the Hereafter his objective will be free of the 
world and its luxuries and he will prefer for htm success in the 
life to come to the luxury of this short life. He who does all that, 
shows modesty before Allah." (Tirmizi) 

Commentary: This hadith expands on the meaning of modesty as 
given in the previous hadith. It also tells us that only he shows 
modesty who gives up the luxury of this world for success in the 
Hereafter. But he who does not do so is not modest no matter how 
he pretends to be. 


Among the moral virtues which make a man beloved of the 
Lord, and raise him, also, in the estimation of the world, and save 
him from a lot of frustration is contentment. What it denotes, in a 
nutshell, is that one should rest satisfied with what one has and be 
not greedy of more. He, indeed, is fortunate who is blessed with a 
contented heart. There is a special favour of Allah on him. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

(^i— iijj) Stf u/Ai ^ liiir J;]} ^ ^ jj% jj 

(371/131) It is related by Abdullah ibn Amr that the 
Messenger of Allah s&> said: 'Successful is he who is blessed by 
Allah with the reality of Islam, and is granted enough provision 
to sustain life, and Allah, also, made him satisfied with it." 


Commentary: Happy is the man who is blessed with the wealth of 
Faith, and, with it. he, also, has enough worldly goods to meet his 
needs, and the Almighty has, further, favoured him with a 
contented heart. Contentment can make even the life of a begger 
happier than that of a king. 

A person may have heaps of wealth, but if his acquisitive desire 
is beyond reason and it is ceaselessly urging him on to acquire 
more, he can never enjoy peace of mind, and will, in fact, be no 
better than a beggar. On the contrary, if his worldy possessions are 
sufficient to keep him going, and he is satisfied with what he has, 
he is rich at heart in spite of poverty, and his life will be a life of 
comfort and cheerfulness. 

JA\ J4i JUS ^3 40* 4i Jut Qy_jA ^\ ^ ( rv y/ \ r r ) 
(tcjKh atjj) ^Jji J* &j j>yji\ ^ 

(372/132) It is related by Abu Hurayrah 4^fe that the Messenger 
of Allah i|| said: "Prosperity does not comefrom worldy 
possessions, but real prosperity is the contentment of the heart." 


Ul U 'fL>' 3 J*&\ ^ JtS Jl5 Ji ^\ 'j. (rV Y7 \ XX) 

dis juii as s£ jis cis jaii juii ij£ ffi > 

(373/133) Abu Zarr Ghiffari 4e> has said, "One day. the 
Messenger of Allah S> said to me: "O Abu Zarr! Do you think 
prosperity is the name of abudnance of worldly goods?" 'Yes," 1 
replied." (So itis supposed)'. The Prophet H then, asked: 'Do 

The Book of Manners 


you think, poverty is the name of scarcity of worldly goods?' 
'Yes," 1 replied. '(So it is supposed)'. The Prophet m said it 
thrice , and, then, observed: 'Real prosperity is in the heart, and 
so, also, is reral poverty'." (Tabarani) 

Commentary: In truth, prosperity and poverty are related more to 
the heart than to wealth. If the heart of a man is contented, he is 
rich, and if it is full of avarice, he will never know what well-being 
is and will always remain a grumbler though he may be possessing 
any amount of wealth. 

Jli aoIp U te> sis J± ijJti $ ^ (fe jU> 


(374/134) Sayyidina Abu Sa'eed Khudri said that some men 
of Ansar once asked the Messenger of Allah Wi for something. 
He gave it to them. (But, their demand continued) and they 
asked again, and he again gave them what they had asked for, 
until whatever he had, he gave all of it. He was exhausted 
everything with him and had nothing left). Then he said to 
them. "Listen whatever I will have, and whatever I will receive 
from anywhere, 1 will not keep it away from you or hoard with 
myself. (But I will go on giving it to you and remember that 
sufficiency is not had by begging for it, the law of Allah that he 
who wishes to preserve himself from begging, Allah helps him 
and saves him from the ignominy of beggning. He who 
preserves himself from speaking of his needs to the people, 
Allah makes him independant of them. And, he who wishes to 
be patient during difficult and trying time, then Allah makes 
him patient. And, no slave has received a blessing higher than 
patience." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: This hadith teaches us that a slave must try his best 
to refrain from begging, and be independent of other people and 
face difficulties boldly. If he does so, Allah will help him and he 
will get these characteristics. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part IJ 

Patience is a great blessing of Allah, and the Qur'an exhorts us 
to it: 

Seek help in steadfastness and prayer (Al-Baqarah2:153) 
Patience or steadfastness is given priority over prayer. 

^ jiS y&i adi ^ di'i Jtirj ^L: ^ jru; ^ojV jtr j 

(375/135) Hakeem ibn Hizam ^ narrates "Once, I asked the 
Messenger of Allah for some money which He gave me. 
(After sometime), I, again, asked him for it, and he, again, gave 
it(to me). The Prophet iH, then, observed (by way of an 
advice): 'Wealth is pleasant to everyone and it is sweet. So, 
whoever will obtain it with high-mindedness and without greed, 
for him there will be abundance and auspiciousness in it, and 
whoever will obtain it with greediness of the heart, for him there 
will be no abundance and auspiciousness, and his condition will 
be like that of a glutton who eats to excess and yet remains 
hungry. And the upper hand is better than the lower hand. (The 
place of the giver is higher while to stretch one's hand before 
others is degrading, and a person should avoid it as for as 
possible.)' "Hakeem ibn Hizam adds that "(on hearing it), I said 
to the holy Prophet $H: 'By the Holy Being who raised you up 
as the Prophet with truth! I will not accept anything from 
anyone, after you, till the end of my days'." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: In the version of this Tradition, in Sahih Bukhari it 
is told that Sayyidina Hakeem ibn Hizam ^ remained true to his 
word to the extent that after the holy Prophet's % death, Sayyidina 
Abu Bakr and Sayyidina Umar sent for him repeatedly, 
during their tenures of office as the Caliph, (when grants and 
stipends were being given to everyone), and offered him 

The Book of Manners 


something, but he declined. 

It is, further, mentioned by Hafiz ibn Hajr in Fath-ul-Bari, on 
the authroity of Musnad Ishaq- ibn Rahwiyah that Hakeem bin 
Hizam did not accept a grant or allowance, also, during the 
Caliphate of Sayyidina Uthman <$k> and hadhrat Mua'wiyah till 
he passed a way at the age of 123 in 54 A.H. 

JaIJl 'pky\ jjLiJb ^SXI $ ji UjU j f 5 '^! J 1 ^ p^j 

(5 jb ^jI al jj) . I jyM* jj^ij lj*Jaii iiukoJb 

(376/136) It is related by Abdullah ibn 'Amr <&> "One day, the 
Messenger of Allah J$jk delivered a sermon in which he said: 
'Protect yourselves from greed because it has been the undoing 
of the earlier communities. It bade them to be miserly, and they 
became miserly ; it bade them to sever ties of kinship, i.e., 
infringe on the rights of relatives, and they severed the ties of 
kinship ; it bade them to evil-doing, and they took to 
evil-doing." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: It shows that avarice is not only a bad habit, but it, 
also gives rise to many other evils in society which eat into its 
vitals, and ultimately, destroy it. The Muslims should, therefore, 
guard themselves religiously against greediness. 

(377/137) It is related by Abu Hurayrah ^ that he heard the 
Messenger of Allah 0 as say: "The worst thing in a man is 
vexing greed and confounding cowardice." (Abu Dawood) 

Commentary: A greedy person is constantly tormented by the 
thought that he hasn't got this thing and that thing while 
such-and-such a man is doing so well and enjoying so much 
superiority or success. Likewise, a coward is always assailed by 
fears, real or imaginary, and there is no peace for him. The holy 
Prophet Hfe has described the two states as exceedingly distressing. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Patient, Perseverance and Gratitude 

In this world of ours there is joy as well as sorrow, comfort as 
well as pain, kindness as well as cruelty, and all this is from Allah, 
and by His will and command. A faithful bondsman should, 
therefore, neither feel grieved nor lose heart when misfortune 
befalls him, but accept it with good cheer and fortitude, believing 
that it is, after all, the working of Allah's will who is All-Wise and 
All-merciful, and it is He, alone, who could remove his distress. 

In the same way, when the circumstances are favourable and a 
person is getting what he wants and leading a comfortable life, he 
should not attribute it to his own effort or skill, but to the 
benevolence of Allah and remember that the Almighty could 
withhold His favour whenever He liked. The bondsmen should, as 
such, feel thankful to Allah and express their gratitude to Him at 
every good trun of fortune. 

These are among the special teachings of Islam and the sacred 
Prophet ill has attached much importance to them. An advantage 
of it is that the bondsman remains devoted to Allah, in all 
circumstances, and another that he never gives way to despair. 

fe* fas <5* ' ^' M J^»j J 1 * v^-* (Vva/ \ r A) 

(378/138) It is related by Suayb that the Messenger of Allah $| 
said: "Strange is the case with faithful bondsman. There is 
nothing but good for him in every circumstance. If joy or 
comfort reaches him, he feels grateful to Allah and there is 
nothing but good for him in it, and if he is visited by sorrow or 
an affliction, he endures it with patience, and perservance, and 
there is nothing but a source of goodness and welfare to him." 


Commentary: There is pain and pleasure for every one in this 
world, but to make it a means of gaining the propinquity of the 
Lord is given only to those who have forged such a living bond of 
faith with Allah that they give thanks to Him on all occasions of 
joy and success, and show forbearance and fortitude, as becomes a 

The Book of Manners 


devoted slave, in adversity. 

Besides, as the life is never free from pain and pleasure, or joy 
and sorrow, the hearts of such bondsmen, also, are always laden 
with the noble sentiments of patience and gratitude. 

'hs jjS[ Jis J^> ^ cf ***** <J} 'J- (vvv\m> 

(379/139) It is reported by Abu Umamah q£b that the Messenger 
of Allah Hsjfe said: "O son of Aadam, if you show patience in the 
first signs of sorrow, I will not be pleased with any reward for 
you besides Paradise." (Ibn-e-Majah) 

Commentary: When a man is grieved, the initial effects are very 
intense. After some days, the effect wears out. Hence, that paitence 
only is reliable which is shown in the beginning with Allah in mind 
and hope for His pleasure and reward. Excellence is only for that 
patience and the promise for reward also applies to that. It is 
natural to resign to the damage later on and that is not valued in the 
eyes of Allah. 

This hadith assures us that Allah will not be pleased to grant 
anything lesser than Paradise to anyone who patiently endures the 
loss he has suffered. He addresses his slaves directly in announcing 
for him this reward. In other words, there will emerge a close 
relationship between Allah and His slave when the latter shows 
patience in the beginning of his grief. 

When anyone is grieved and he becomes patient, remembering 
this hadith then he will experience a particular delight on showing 
patience. In the Hereafter, Paradise is promised to him, definitely. 

fr* i$ ii* J* ***J J? J* 0"A • A t • ) 

(380/140) It is related by Abdullah ibn Abbas 4&> that the 
Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever is faced with an 
economic or physical distress and does not reveal it to anyone or 
gives utterance to his grief or discontent before the people, it is 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

due from Allah that He will forgive him (his sin)." (Tabarani) 
Commentary: A superior grade of patience is that one endures 
hardships and other strokes of ill-luck with resolute endurance and 
does not disclose his sorrow or suffering to others. To such 
bondsmen, a firm promise of forgiveness and deliverance in the 
Hereafter has been given in this Tradition. 

^ US}' ^ ^ dp ' * JU > Jj &i jufj 
jg &\ \$ior ojjb jia lii u in j}^3 u juj jua cJ,^ 
(f 1 - i «i jj> tU^jJi «a ^4J« (U-;; Uja «Cp vj^ 

(381/141) Narrates Usama ibn Zayd that Zaynab, the daughter 
of the Messenger of Allah % (once), sent a message to the 
Prophet S asking him to come (to her house) as the condition 
of her child was critical. In reply, the Prophet & sent to her his 
Salaam 1 and theMessage. "Oh daughter! Whatevr Allah takes 
from anyone, He takes what is His, and whatever He gives to 
anyone He gives what is His. In short, everything belongs to 
Allah. And for everything, there is a time and a limit 
pre-determined by Allah. (When the time Comes, it is taken 
away from the world). So, be patient, and pray to Allah for 
recompense." Zaynab, once again, sent him the message, 
imploring him, in the Name of Allah, to come. The Messengr of 
Allah hereupon, got up and left for Zaynab's house, and Sa'd 
ibn Ubada, Mu'az ibn Jabal, Ubayy ibn Ka'b, Thabit ibn Zayd 
and some other Companions, too, went with him. (When the 
Prophet reached there), the child was lifted and placed in his 
lap. It was gasping for breath. The Prophet H was moved to 
tear on seeing its condition, upon which Sa'd ibn Ubadah asked: 
"Messenger of Allah 0! "What is it?" "It is the effect of 
compassion, Allah has bestowed upon the hearts of His 

1. Salutation; greeting; compliments. 

The Book of Manners 


bondsmen, and the Mercy of Allah will be on the bondsmen in 
whose hearts there is pity. (They will not be deserving of His 
kindness whose hearts are devoid of compassion)," replied the 
Prophet $fe . (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: From the last part of the hadith, we learn that to 
react to a sorrowful happening and shed tears is not contrary to 
patience. What paitence signifies, briefly, is that believing a 
hardship or calamity to be the Will of Allah, we should accept it as 
becomes a bondsman and despair not of His Mercy, but be mindful 
of the Divine injunctions and observe them. 

As for the feeling of grief or pain and the shedding of tears at a 
distressing event, it is the natural outcome of the sentiments of 
cindness with which Allah has blessed the human heart. 

Sa'd ibn Ubadah had made his enquiry, on seeing tears in the 
;yes of Prophet $f&, because he did not know, till then, that the 
ihedding of tears and such other expression of grief were not 
>pposed to the spirit of fortitude. 

^\^\ C^^\ ASCJ\^C\il^ii\ Mii j#- (rAY/UY) 

'JlM J^j *W hi o <^r> jJ-'Ji& fif *0 <&>3 

1% £ ji *i\ ili i&S\%\ $ <-Xfc f&^J*'^ 

(382/141) It is related by Mu'az ibn Jabal $k> that when his son 
died, the Messenger of Allah ^ had this letter of condolence 
sent to him: 

"In the Name of Allah, Most Kind, Most Merciful. 
"From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Mu'az ibn Jabal. 
"Salaam Alaik! 

"First of all, I relate to you the Praise of Alah save whom there 
is no Diety. (After it), I pray that Allah may recompense you 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

most bounteously on your loss, and endue you heart with 
patience, and grant you and me the good fortune to be thankful 
(to Him) for His favours. Our lives and our possessions and our 
children are the gifts of Allah and the trusts He has placed in our 
charge (Your son, also, was a trust of Allah, given in your 
keeping). As long as He wished, He gave you the opportunity to 
profit from him with joy and make yourself happy, and when He 
willed, He took the charge back from you. He is going to 
recompense you with a vast reward. (There are glad tidings of) 
the special favour of Allah, and benevolence and guidance from 
Him if you show patience, in confident expectation of the 
reward, and with the ideas of wholehearted surrender to His 
will. So, O Mu'az, be patient, and let not bewailing and loud 
lamenation ruin the recompense, and, then, you feel sorrow and 
shame (at surffering the loss, and, yet remaining deprived of the 
reward). And, believe it no dead person returns (to the earth) by 
mourning and lamentation, nor does it lesson the grief. And the 
will of Allah shall be done. In truth, it has been done already. 
Was-Salaam!" (Tabarani) 

Commentary: In the Qur'an, glad tidings of three things are given 
to those who patiently persevers: 

Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord and 
mercy. Such are the rightlyguided. (AI-Baqarah2:157) 

Alluding to it, the holy Prophet % advised Sayyidina Mu'az, in 
his letter, that if he remained patient in his bereavement, with the 
intention of propitiating Allah and earning the Divine recompense, 
there was the promise, for him, of the blessings of Allah, and His 
mercy and guidance. 

The letter contains a full provision of condolence, sympathy 
and good counsel for all bondsmen in moments of loss or grief. 

The Book of Manners 


$ \j& -j'JZt OjU Jlii ji^Vj 4 jjr^J Ijr-s^ 

(383/143) Umm al-Darda iftf-ii^j has said that she heard Abu 
ad-Darda say that he heard Abul Qasim say that Allah Who is 
blessed and exalted said, "O Isa, I am sending after your time, a 
people who will praise Allah when what they like happens to 
them and seek their reward from Allah and show endurance 
when what they dislike afflicts them, though they do not possess 
forbearance and intelligence." He asked, "My Lord, how can 
this be when they do not possess forbearance or intelligence?" 
Allah said, "1 shall give them some of My forbearance and 
Knowledge." 1 (Baihaqi) 

Commentary: It is a common weakness with human beings that 
they lose hope in difficult times and become overjoyed when they 
are blessed and prosperous. The Qur'an says about it: 

Lo! Man was created anxious, fretful when evil befalls him, and, 
when good befalls him, grudging. (Al-Ma'arij 70: 19-21) 

Thus, if people are given to be patient in times of difficulty 
and grateful when blessed then Allah will be much pleased with 
them. That will be their distinction. The Companions n$fe> and the 
righteous believing men of the generation after them were blessed 
with these characteristics which was not the result of any 
knowledge or forbearance they possessed but of the favour of Allah 
bestowed on them. 

Allah had informed some of the earleir Prophets f^LJi ^$1* of 
the outstanding characteristics of this ummah so that they may 
know that their mission would be perfected with this last ummah. 

Reliance on Allah 

One of the fundamental truths we have learnt through the 
Prophets is that whatever is taking place in the world and 

everything that is reaching us or not, is from Allah, and by His 
leave. The causes which, apparently, bring about a result are, 
O. Mishkat Al-Masabih, VI p 368 (Eng . tr: Robson), Ashraf Lahroe. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

simply, the ways and means, decreed by the Lord Himself, of 
carrying the things to us in the same way as the pipes through 
which water is brought into our homes are, merely, the means to 
carry the water, but they do not specify or determine its 
distribution, nor can they interfere with it in any manner. The 
causes are not the 'author' of things. Allah, alone, is the doer, and it 
is His writ that runs in the world. 

To put one's trust in Allah, to be steadfast in one's loyalty 
towards Him, to keep one's eyes set upon His Pwoer and 
Beneficence, to make Him the centre of one's hopes and fears, and 
to supplicate to Him for one's needs, with a complete faith in the 
reality we have just indicated, this is what is called Tawakkul 
(Reliance on Allah) in religious parlance. 

It stands for just that: neither more nor less. The denial, 
rejection or abandonment of effort or means is not necessary for 
Tawakkul. This is the Tawakkul that has been practised by the 
Prophets p+M, particularly, Prophet Muhammad and his 
Companions & and by men of high virtue and spirituality in all 
ages. They all believed that the law of cause and effect was under 
the control of the Divine Will, and, normally, made use of the 
means as well, in accordance with that belief, and considering that 
Allah, in His Infinite wisdom, had so willed it, but put their trust 
wholly in what has been decreed by the Alimghty. The causes, to 
them, were no more than the water-pipes, as we have explained. 
Hence, they paid the fullest regard to the good pleasure of Allah 
and His commandments while making use of worldly means and 
resources, and believed that the Divine Will and Power was not 
bound by the causes, and the Lord could do anything without or 
outside of them, also, if He liked, and sometimes, they even had an 
experience of it in their lives. 

In sum, repudiation or relinquishment of earthly means is 
neither a part of Tawakkul nor an essential condition of it. 
However, if anyone is overwhelmed by the inner state of 
Allah-realisation and forsakes the causes, no blame will attach to 
him. It will, on the other hand, be a sign of perfection in his case. 
Similarly, it will be quite proper and justifiable for a man to take to 
the path of rejection of the causes with the object of freeing 

The Book of Manners 


himself from their hold and placing reliance wholly upon Allah or 
setting an example to others. But the actual significance of 
Tawakkul is just the same as we have indicated, and it is what has 
been advised and set forth in the Qur'an and Traditions. 

In any case, Tawakkul is the logical effect and outcome of 
perfection in faith and monotheism, and whoever is not blessed 
with it, his faith and belief in the doctrine of Divine Oneness is 

The place of submission to Divine Will is even higher than that 
of Tawakkul. It denotes that a bondsman resigns himself with a 
willing heart to whatever happens to him and in whichever state he 
finds himself, believing that everything, agreeable or disagreeable, 
that reaches him is from Allah, and, therefore, it is for his good. 

(384/144) It is related by Abdullah ibn Abbas 4& that the 
Messengr of Allah 0 said: "Seventy thousnad of my followers 
will be admitted to Heaven without Reckoning, i.e., without the 
Balance-sheet of their deeds being examined on the Day of 
Judgement. They will be the bondsmen who do not take 
recourse to sorcery or augury, but place reliance on their Lord 
and Creator." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: Two evils were most common among the Arabs at 
the time of the advent of the Prophet A. One was that when 
anyone or his children fell ill, he went to the sorcerer imagining 
that magical formulas and other forms of exorcism were the easiest 
and most effective way to drive off the disease or any other 
distress, and, secondly, when they intended to do a thing that could 
be both, beneficial and harmful, and end up in success as well as 
failure, they resorted to augury, and if it did not augur well, they 
gave up the idea, thinking that it was ill-omened. The holy Prophet 
A condemned both the practices on various occasions, and 
advised the peole not to have recourse to witch-craft in illness or to 
augury or divination for knowing beforehand whether the step they 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

were going to take would be fruitful or not, but to believe that 
health and sickness, and gain and loss, were wholly in the control 
of Allah, and, as such, reliance ought to be placed on Him alone, 
and only such measures adopted to gain an object that were not 
displeasing to Him. The world is governed by the Will and 
Command of Allah, and not by causes, and it would be the height 
of folly, indeed, to adopt ways and methods He did not approve of 
for the accomplishment of a purpose. 

From it, some people have concluded that the bondsmen to be 
admitted to Paradise without Reckoning will be those who observe 
Tawakkul by totally renouncing material means and resources and 
forsaking the causes, but it is not correct. The holy Prophet 
would, certainly, have made it clear had it been in his mind while, 
in this Tradition, he has mentioned only two things, exorcism and 
augury, from the whole range of means that are supposed to help 
one to attain a prupose. It, distinclty, shows that the bondsmen 
referred to in it will be those who place their trust solely in Allah in 
their needs, and as a result of it, do not resort to practices that are 
repugnant to Him. 

The above Tradition thus, Is enough to show that the denial and 
rejection of means for the accomplishment of an end or purpose for 
which the Lord Himself has prescribed them and are, also, not 
forbidden in the Shari'ah is not what is required by Tawakkul, but 
only the means that are abhorrent to Him, and, also, not have been 
permitted in the Shariah. 1 

Nevertheless, for Tawakkul it is necessary that means are 
considered merely to be a route or a path, and a veil or curtain of 
the wisdom of Allah, and real trust is put in Him, and this is what, 
basically, distinguishes between the conduct of a man who believes 
in and practices Tawakkul and a man who does not. 

As for the 'seventy thousand' bondsmen, as we have had 

occasions to remark in the earlier volumes, this figure is, generally, 

used in Arabic to emphasise the abundance of a thing, and here, 

too, it, apparently, has been employed in the same sense, i.e., to 

denote that a large number of Muslilms will enter Heaven, without 

O. The same explanation of the above Tradition has been given by Shah 
Waliullah in Hujjatullah-il-Baligha. Vol: II. p.92. 

The Book of Manners 


the scrutiny of their deeds, and as a result of abstention from the 
sinful practices of witchery, fetishism and divination. 

Hence, in another version of the same narrative it is added that 
"with each of these seventy thousand bondsmen, another seventy 
thousand will be admitted to Heaven without Reckoning." 

It is, fruther, worthy of note that this Tradition is not simply by 
way of a prophecy, foretelling an event that is going to happen on 
the Day of Resurrection, but its real purpose is to stress upon the 
Muslims the need to lead a life of Tawakkul so that they are 
included among the bondsmen who will enter Paradise without a 
close examination of their deeds. 

(385/145) It is related by Umar ibn Khattab "I heard the 
Messenger of Allah % Say, "If you put your trust in Allah, as is 
His due, He will give you sustenance in the same way as He 
gives to the birds which come out of their nests hungry in the 
morning, and return in the evening with a full stomach." 

(Tirmizi and lbn Majah) 

Commentary: It shows that if people placed reliance on Allah for 
the necessities of life as they ought to, Allah would treat them in 
the same manner as He treats the birds which get their sustenance 
without having to toil hard for it as they have to do now. 

fa Alp'iin J^> > Jifl Ji5 ^ Jus* > (r An/ \ 1 1) 
jtf p i# s-iiii £3 & 5*i # # fa ^ *A & 

^ J* & 

(386/146) Sayyidina Amr ibn Al-'Aas 4& said that the 
Messenger of Allah $1 said: "The heart of the son of Aadam 
has a piece in every wadi, and if anyone lets his heart flollow all 
the pieces, Allah will not care in which wadi He destroys him: 
but to anyone who trusts in Allah He will supply enough for all 

the pieces. 1 " (Ibn Majah) 

O. Mishkat Al-Masabih V2 p 1 101 . 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

Commentary: Man has an eye on every field and if pursues his 
desires all round then Allah does not care about it and where he 
perishes. Man must depend on Allah for all his needs and observe 
his commands. Allah will then be enough for him and he will fulfil 
his needs. 

'J* oi^i J atfi # j^ti cJ^i £A cJL 

(387/147) Abdullah ibn Abbas 4$b related "One day as 1 was 
riding on the same camel with the Messenger of Allah 
sitting at his back, he turned to me and said: My boy! You take 
care of Allah, i.e. observe your duty to Him as one should, and 
He will take care of you, and protect you from the calamities of 
this world as well as the next. Remember Allah as he ought to 
be remembered, and you will find Him right in front of yourself, 
and if you wish to ask for anything, ask only from Him, and if 
you need help at any time, ask for help only from Him and 
remember well that if all mankind joins to do good to you with 
anything, it will be able to do good only with the thing that has 
been determined beforehand for you by Allah, and if all 
mankind joins to do harm to you with anything, it will be able to 
harm only with the thing that has been determined beforehand 
for you by Allah, and with no other thing. The pens have been 
done away with, and the leaves have become dry'." 

(Musnad Ahmad and Tirmizi) 

Commentary: The gist and substance of this Tradition is that 
every kind of gain or loss is in the control of Allah, and, aside of 
Him, there is no one who has anything in his power, so much so 
that if all the men in the world got together to do a harm or good to 
anyone, they could do nothing against the will and command of 
Allah. Only what has been foreordained by Him and written down 
by the 'pen of desitny' much in advance even the writing has, now, 

The Book of Manners 


dried up-can and will happen. Such being the case, it is pure 
foolisheness to address one's petitions to anyone save Allah. We 
should supplicate only to Him and stretch our hand before no one 
else for our needs, and the way to have our petitions granted and 
prayers answered is that we remembered His injunctions and 
fulfilled His rights. He will, also, remember us, and fulfil our needs 
and be kind and merciful to us both in this world and the next. 

; The doctorine of predestination has been discussed by us in 
earlier pages, and it has been explained why it was necessary to 
make efforts, the creed of destiny notwithstanding. It would be 
futile to go here, again, into the doubts that are, generally, 
expressed in that regard. 

if* 0> &&&&& % *W * ffr*2 A * 
J±cj£,$cj* % ^ &x c^aft iYj to #33 ^3) 

(388/148) It is related by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud <$fe that the 
Messenger of Allah S said: "There is nothing that takes you 
close to Heaven and away from Hell and I have not told you to 
observe it, and, in the same way, there is nothing that takes you 
close to Hell and away from Heaven that I have not told you to 
avoid it. (I have imparted to you to the knowledge of all good 
and evil deeds, and taught you, in detail, what is legitimate and 
what is forbidden, and conveyed to you all the positive and 
negative commandments of Allah that were revealed to me). 
And Rooh-ul-Amin, (the Trustworthy Spirit), (and according to 
another report, Rooh-ul-Quddus the Holy Spirit), (both of which 
denote the Angel' Jibril), has just brought to me the Revelation 
that no living creature dies until he has eaten up the sustenance 
decreed for him. (The appointed provision reaches everyone, 
without fail, before he dies, and death, in any case, cannot come 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

until it, counsumed). Thus, O People! Fear Allah and be honest 
and Allah-fearing in seeking your livelihood, and let not a little 
delay in sustenance induce you to try to obtain it through 
unlawful means and by transgression of the Law of Allah for 
what lies in the power of Allah can be obtained only through 
submission and obedience to Him." (Baghawi and Baihaqi) 

Commentary: The opening part is introductory. The holy Prophet 
S, in fact, wanted to convey to his listeners what Jibril had 
instilled into his heart at that time, but in order to give a special 
force to what he was going to tell, he, first, said that he had taught 
them all that there was to be taught concerning what was allowed 
and what was forbidden by the Shari'ah, and now he wanted to 
inform them of a thing just revealed to him by Jibril which, in a 
nutshell, was that the sustenance of everyone had been determined 
beforehand and it was sure to reach him before he died, and, thus, a 
faithful bondsman should abstain from doing anything with regard 
to his livelihood that was displeasing to Allah, and if there was a 
dely or hardship in it, even then he should not act in violation of a 
Allah-given law, but believing in the Almgihty as the Great 
Provider of the daily bread, try to earn it only through fair and 
legitimate means as the favour of Allah and His blessings could be 
gained only through submission. 

Suppose a man is hungry and he has no money to buy food. At 
that moment, he sees someone who is fast asleep and the devil 
tempts him to steal his goods and go and sell them and purchase 
for himself something to eat. It is for such an occasion that the 
sacred Prophet il has taught that the bondsman should take it for 
granted that the provision that is to reach him shall reach him in 
any event. So, why should he incur the displeasure of the Lord, 
defile his soul and ruin his prospects in the world to come by 
committing theft? His aim and endeavour ought to be to earn his 
livelihood through honest means instead of despicable act like 
stealing. The scope for earning an honest living is not limited by 
any means. 

The Book of Manners 44 1 

JlS A ^JJ 1 {fa #>LJ>jJl» 

JU Jstt /a Jji f ij ^ &p cJis 

( ^ -i j j> ^ ? >: y» jjiS j> ^ p jJ £»j 

(389/149) Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah 4& said that when a man 
went to his family and saw their needy condition, he went out to 
the desert (to pray to Allah humbly). When his wife saw his 
embarrassment she got up and when she had made the mill 
ready and lit a fire under the oven she said: "O Allah, grant us 
provision." She then looked and saw that the platter had become 
full, and when she went to the oven she found it had become 
full. The husband returned, and on his asking if they had got 
something since his departure, his wife replied, "Yes, from our 
Lord," and the man went and lifted the mill-stone. The matter 
was reported to the Prophet 0 who said: "If he had no raised it, 
it would have kept turning til! the Day or Resurrection. 1 (Ahmad) 

Commentary: This incident concerns items of sustenance. 
Generally, Allah grants through some means but sometimes we see 
His all-embracing power when He gives directly without 

When such things are witnessed at the hands of a Prophet that 
is called a (mu'jizah) miracle. Again, when a righteous follower of 
a Prophet performs such a deed it is called a karamat. 

The couple in the above incident had shown exemplary reliance 
on Allah, and He approved their supplication. 

Those people who are deprived of Faith and reliance on Allah 

and unaware of the powers of Allah do not find it easy to 

understand such and they doubt the reports. However, those who 

are blessed with belief they understand these happinings and 

believe in them. Allah has said: 

... ,t > , ,3.'. \ , r- > 

And whoever puts his trust in Allah, He will suffice him. 


O. Mishakt Al-Masabih V2 p 1 101-2. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

fa sji*ii< ik') \& j>\ « jtii. ^.j J in 5u» j f 

JL» jsJ^j *u*-l «1 jj) &*fa ts J3S Uj ^ J>\ 3jlii 

(390/150) It is related by Sa'd 4^ that the Messenger of Allah 
$s$& said: "It is from the good fortunate of a man that he is 
contented with the decision of Allah with regard to himself, and 
it is from the ill-fortune of a man that he does not seek from 
Allah what is good , and, it too, is from his ill-luck not to 
remain satisfied with the decision of Allah with regard to 
himself." (Musnad Ahmad and Tirmizi) 

Commentary: Occasionally, a man has to pass through events and 
experiences that are not to his liking. In these circumstances, his 
felicity and good fortune would lie in reconciling himself to 
adversity and quietly submitting to the Divine Will, believing that 
Allah is Omniscient and All-wise, and Most Kind and Gracious to 
His bondsmen. It is set forth in the Qur'an: 

But it may happen that you hate a thing which is good for you, 
and it may happen that you like a thing which is bad for you. 
Allah knwos, you know not. (Al-Baqarah2:216) 

Besides, the bondsman should always beseech Allah to decide 
what is good for him in His judgement. The holy Prophet m, has 
said that it was the height of misfortune for a man not to entreat 
Allah for prosperity and welfare. In the same way, it is most 
lamentable for a bondsman to feel sore and unhapy over what the 
Almighty decides or prefers for him. 

The state of wholehearted submission to the Divine Will be 
attained only when a man has a complete faith in Divine Attributes, 
as mentioned in the Qur'an, and the love for Allah pervades his 
heart and takes hold of it as a result of this belief and conviction. 


The moral guidance furnished to mankind by the sacred 
Prophet $k attains fulfilment, in our humble view, in the teaching 
of Ikhlas (Sincerity in Action) and Lillahiyat (Single-minded 
Devotion). Or, in other words, sincerity and singl-minded devotion 
to Allah mark the culminating lesson of the Book of Morality, and 
the highest stage of moral and spiritual advancement. 

What Ikhalas and Lillahiyat denote, in short, is that every good 
deed should be performed for the sake of Allah and for his 
propitiation, i.e., so that our Lord and Master might be pleased 
with us and bestowed His good graces and we remained safe from 
His indignation. 

The Holy Prophet & has stressed that single-minded devotion 
is the most essential part- the inner reality — of all good and 
virtuous acts and behaviour. Should the apparently good deeds and 
morals be bereft of the spirit of sincerity and soundness of 
intention and prompted by any other urge, desire or motive, apart 
from the seeking of Divine good pleasure and reward, such as, the 
earning of good name, they would carry no merit in the sight of 

To put it differently, the countenance of the Lortd and the 
reward of the Hereafter that are the real fruit and outcome of all 
good deeds and ought to be the chief aim and objective of all 
believing men and women are not gained simply on good-doing, 
but when these acts, also, are performed with the intention of 
earning the favour of Allah and the reward of the hereafter. It 
could, of course, not be otherwise, for do we not follow the same 
principle in our own affairs? Suppose anyone serves us devotedly 
and does all sorts of things for our comfort, but, somehow, we 

444 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

realise that there is no sincerity in his heart and his attachment and 
dutifulness are motivated by a selfish desire, will it make a 
favourable impression on us? The same is the case with Allah with 
the added difference that while we do not kow what is hidden in 
the hearts, Allah is present everywhere, at once, and sees all things. 
Thus, He only accepts the deeds of bondsmen who perform good 
and virtuous acts for His sake and confers His blessings on them, 
and the full display of His Mercy and Benevolence will take place 
in the Hereafter which is the place of Final Requital. On the 
contrary, those who practise virtue and do good deeds to make a 
name or with a similar purpose may gain their objects in this 
world, but they will remain deprived of the beneficience of the 
Lord and it will be made wholly manifest on the Last Day. 

Of fundamental significance, in this regard, is the well-known 
saying of the Prophet: "Actions are but judged according to the 
intentions." We have placed it at the head of the present book along 
with detailed explanatory note. It will be unnecessary to go over it 
here, once again, but a few other Traditions of a like nature are 
reproduced below. 

Allah Regards What Lies In The Hearts 

9ljJ) #1^) &p y i & &j ffy'jA} j&ji y» 'A * 

(391/151) It is related by Abu Hurayrah <#> that the Messenger 
of Allah 0 said: "Aliah does not regard your fine visages or 
wealth, but of your hearts and deeds." (Muslim) 

Commentary: It shows that Dvine favour or acceptance does not 
depend on anyone's form and figure or wealth, but on the state of 
his heart and mind. Allah judges and requites only on the basis of 
our motives and intenions. In some other vers ; ons of the same 
Tradition, it i stated a little more candidly: 

yi -JZ &j pK&'j p/^ yj ij y» 'M i'* Sj 

"Allah is regardful not of your form and figure and apparent 

The Book of Manners 


deeds, but of you hearts 1 ." 

It makes it abundantly clear that goodness or badness, and 
acceptability or otherwise of a deed is dependent on the 
intention, and however good and noble an act may apparently 
be, it is worthless in the judgement of the Lord if the heart is 
lacking in earnestness, and the aim, wholly, in not His 

Propitiousness of Single- Minded Devotion 

•tfUi-t tj^iajl JojlS ^ JtflS ^^gll* cXUi Jls-Jt ^ 3jst^> 
^ ^ J 1 *?? fe? i) s 'j£ O'^J iil 

" * + * * * 

** > ^ * * 

^s^- cJ^ t^dii ijjJLfai * L-Jl jLr^ 1 4^!H I* iiLT L^T-t ^ C~4 

cJr ol* ^ l^ diii ^ iyfo ji > jl^ u ciis ipt- j 

Jtij Jiry ^ i^L uJ £ j& <-£&r 'j c-^** {J) fa 

j j t , v: >\i f'' * *' * "\' ' '. "i s- 

J. Jam'a-ul-Fuwayid, V2 p 160. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

^} ciii ^ cJ£ & ^ 'p\ 
(r 1 — -> ^j 1 ^ 1 fl, jj) (if*^ ^ i^U j £1*$ 

(392/152) It is related by Abdullah ibn Umar 4^ 'that the 
Messenger of Allah ^ said: "(Once), three men were going 
somewhere when it began to rain. They took shelter in a cave. 
In the meantime, a rock fell, covering completely the opening of 
the cave. Of the three men, one said to the others: Think of the 
good deeds you may have done and pray to Allah through the 
propitiousness of the deed you may have done particularly for 
His sake to remove the rock (and relieve us of the distress).' 
Upon it, one of them said: "O Allah! My parents were very old 
and I had many children. I used to graze goats etc, in order to 
provide milk for them. I would return (home) in the evening, 
milk the goats and give the milk, first, to my parents, and, then, 
to the children. One day, it so happened that the trees of the 
pasturage took me far. (I lost the sense of distance and went a 
long way off grazing the goats), and could not return on time till 
it grew dark. When I reached home, I found that both my father 
and mother were asleep. I milked the goats, as usual, and went 
to my parents with the milk vessel [in my hands], and stood at 
the head of their beds . I neither liked to wake them up nor to 
give milk to the chidren before my parents had drunk it. My 
children were crying at my feet owing to hunger and I was 
standing still with the milk. It went on like that until it was 
morning. O Allah! If you know that I had done it solely for Your 
sake, move the rock a little so that we could see the sky.' The 
Almighty, thereupon, moved the rock to the extent that the sky 
could be seen. The second man, then, said: 'O Allah! My uncle 
had a daughter with whom I was madly in love. I asked her for 
sexual intercourse, but she replied that it could take place when 
I paid her a hundred sovereigns. I tried and collected the 
sovereigns and took them to her. Then, as I sat between her legs 
(to commence the act), she said: 'O bondsman of Allah! Fear 
Allah and don't brake the seal.' I, at oncce, got up out of the fear 
of Allah, and did not perform the act. My Lord! If that act of 
mine was wholly for Your plseasure, remove the rock and open 
the way for us. Allah thereupon, moved the rock a little further. 

The Book of Manners 


After it, the third man said: "I had, (once), engaged a labourer 
on a Faraq 1 of rice. When he had completed the work, he came 
to me and demanded the wage, but as I was about to pay, he 
disappeared and did not return. I then, began to do farming with 
the rice, i.e., paddy and went on with it for years until, with the 
money thus earned, I had collected several bullocks and men to 
look afeter them. After a long time, the man returned, and said: 

'Fear Allah, and do not be unjust, and give me back my due'. I 
told him to take the bullocks and the labourers (as they belonged 
to him), upon which he remarked: "O man! Fear Allah, and don't 
joke with me.' "I am not joking.' I replied , All these are yours.' 
He, thereupon, took them away, O Allah! If, in Your sight, that 
act of mine was wholly for Your sake, remove the rock 
completely. ' The Lord, thereupon, removed the rock and 
opened the way (for them)." (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: The three persons mentioned in it were, perhaps, 
the followers of an earlier Prophet and the holy Prophet m has 
related the parable for his own followers to draw a lesson from it. 
A few noteworthy features of the deeds narrated above are: 
Firstly, as it is clearly stated in the report as well, all the three 
acts had been performed solely for the sake of Allah and for 
earning His good pleasure, and it was for that reason that the men 
had placed them before the Almighty and beseeched Him for 

Secondly, the deeds offer a marvellous example of 
subordinating one's desires to the will and command of Allah. Just 
imagine, how severe is the struggle of the first man, mentioned in 
the parable, against the urges of the self. He has been grazing 
cattle, throughout the day, in the jungle, and returns home late in 
the evening, tired out and fatigued. He will, naturally, be wanting 
to go to bed soon. But since his parents have fallen asleep without 
taking the milk, he feels that the pleasure of Allah lies in giving 
them the milk when they wake up, and spends the whole night 
standing by the bed-side, with the milk-vessel in his hand. His 
children cry due to hunger at his feet but he gives priority to the 
right of the parents, and to the good pleasure of Allah, and 
willingly restrains himself from giving the milk to his children 
0. A measure of weight current in Ancient Arabia. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

before he has fed the aged parents with it, until it is daybreak. 

The same quality is evident from the deed of the second man. 
He is passionately in love with a gril and when a large amount of 
money is settled between them as her charge for the sexual act, and 
he has, also, paid it and is about to fulfil the greatest desire of his 
life, the Name of Allah comes in at that very moment, and, out of 
the fear of Allah and eagerness to earn His good graces, he stands 
up and leaves the girl alone. Now, anyone who is not altogether 
dead to the cravings of the flesh can imagine what it means and 
what a glorious instance of subduing the carnal self for the sake of 
Allah does it offer. 

The case of the third man, too, is identical. A laboruer leaves 
behind a few sheers of paddy with him. He sows it on his land, and 
regarding the crop it yields to be the property of the labourer, saves 
it back year after year and invests the money in some other 
business as well until he acquires a whole herd of cattle. When, 
however, the labourer returns after a long time, the honest and 
trustworthy bondsman hands over to him the entire wealth he had 
earned by the sweat of his brow and careful planning. What 
temptations would the devil not have thrown in his path? How 
would he not have tried to induce him to keep the property he had 
thus acuquired with himself, and of which the labourer had no 
knowledge? But the bondsman stood firm against all the 
inducements of the devil and his own base self, and handed over 
the whole property to the poor laboruer out of the fear of Allah. 

Besides, an additional peculiraty of all the three acts is that 
none of them belongs to the class and category of traditional 
worship. One is related to Mu'ashirat (social conduct), one to 
Mu'amilat (monetary dealings), while the special feature of another 
-the second deed- is that a bondsman abstained from a sin wholly 
for earning the countenance of Allah although it was the ruling 
passion of his life and he had, also, made the necessary 

We, moreover, learn from the above Tradition that if a person 
feels about a good deed of his that it had been performed with 
earnestness and whole-hearted devotion to Allah, he can present it 
before Him, in his prayer, as a means of conciliating His favour. 

The Book oj Manners 


Riya Is A Form Of Polytheism 

As sincerity and singleness of purpose, i.e., the intention to 
earn the favour and good pleasure of Allah while performing a 
good deed is the pre-requisite of Faith and Monotheism, Riya, or in 
other words, hypocrisy, deceit, duplicity and dissmulation, i.e., the 
doing of a good act with an eye on popularity or renown is the 
reverse of it and a kind of polytheism. 

'4*' to JU> 3* J* 1 «S* (r*r/\or) 

(393/153) It is related by Shaddad Ibn Aus 4& that he heard the 
Messenger of Allah % say: "Whoever offered prayer for display 
is guilty of polytheism, and whoever observed fasting for 
display is guilty of polytheism, and whoever practised charity 
for display is guilty of polytheism." (Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: Real polytheism lies in associatng anyone with 
Allah in His Being, Attributes and Functions, and in His Special 
rights, and yielding obedience and offering worship to anyone 
aside of Him. This is the 'actual', 'open' or 'major' polytheism about 
which it is stated in the Qur'an and is an Article of Faith with us, 
the Muslims, that whoever is guilty of it shall never be admitted to 
Heaven. But there are some acts and morals which though they do 
not amount to polytheism in that sense, are related to it, one way or 
the other. One of these is that a person offered worship or did 
another virtuous act not with the intention of pleasing Allah and 
seeking His good graces, but for impressing others so that people 
might say that he was a godly man and become his diciples. This is 
waht is called Riya, and despite the fact that it is not poslytheism in 
the true sense it does represent a grade of it. It is a kind of 
hypocrisy and a highly sinful practice. In another narrative, it has 
been described as 'concealed', and, in yet another as 'major' 
polytheism. We shall take up both the reports later. 

It should, however, be noted that prayer, fasting and charity 
have been mentioned in this Tradition merely as an example or else 
any good deed which is performed with an eye on renown or any 
other worldly advantage is equivalent in significance to polytheism 
and will merit sereve chastisement in place of reward. 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

«3j^ jkiit^ 'j^s *fi Jtii Jv^-ili ^4-^' j^^sj j (ii^j a^p 

J^"3 ^ J? ^Ji ^ jk> fJ 5 * if**' 

(394/154) Abu Sa'eed Khudri narrates "One day, the 
Messenger of Allah ill came to us, i.e., to the place where we 
were sitting, from his apartment. At that time, we were talking 
about Dajjal, the Imposter. The Prophet j& remarked: 'May I 
tell you of something which is even more dangerous for you 
than Dajjal?' 'Do please', we replied. The Prophet 0, thereupon, 
said: 'It is concealed polytheism, (an example of which is that) a 
man stood up for prayer, and, then, extended the prayer because, 
someone was seeing him offering it." (Ibn Majah) 

Commentary: What the holy Prophet !$S&, probably, wanted to 
stress was that he had no great fear of the open polytheism and 
apostasy to which Dajjal will try to lead the people through various 
artful and ingenious expendients as he was confident that his true 
followers will not fall a prey to his deception, but he, indeed, was 
afraid that the devil succeeded in pushing them into disguised 
polythesim, an example of which was that prayer was prolonged 
simply to impress others. 

In another Tradition quoted, again, in Sunan Ibn Majah, it is 
stated that, once, as the Prophet expressed his fear of the 
Muslims falling into polytheism, some Companions c^> remarked, 
"O Messenger of Allah! How can it be that after you, did your 
followers take polytheism?" The holy Prophet replied, "L am 
confident my followers will not worship the sun, the moon, the 
stones and the idols, but it can and will be that they fall a prey to 
concealed polytheism of the class of Riya." 

Jr;lj< Uj > fej u; \ft fifr u L>>t 

(395/155) Mahmood ibn Labeed relates that the Messenger of 
Allah said: "The greatest fear I have concerning you is of 
'minor' polytheism." "What is 'minor' polytheism?" asked the 
Companions." "Riya", the Prophet replied "(The doing of a 

The Book of Manners 


virutous act for show or display)." (Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: The Prophet & wished to caution them that they 
may protect themselves from minor polytheism let, the devil tempt 
them into it. 

Any Act With The Slightest Trace of 
Poly t Jiesim is Not Worthy of Acceptance 

Jtl JU> J^j Jtf Jll SjJ> ^ >j> ( r %V \ -1) 

*3 'iU^ J^u& J^ii *_r>±J» ^ c-l^-jjji u* ^JUi' -ail 

^ j JfJ-U > ^ il* US # j j ^ j — 4T>j J; 

(396/156) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger 
of Allah Hfe said that Allah has said: "I am absolutely 
independent of the need of polytheism and partnership. (1 
cannot put up with parners and assocaites, in any case, as others 
do. Every kind of polytheism and ascribing of partners is 
extremely repugnant to Me). Thus, whoever performs an act 
(like worship) in which he associates anyone with Me, (i.e., 
apart from My favour and good pleasure, his motive is to gain 
something from anyone else or make him his disciple or 
follower). I reject him and his polytheism wholly and 
altogether." In another Tradition referring to the same incident it 
is stated that "I have nothing to do with him. That act of his (is 
not for Me), but for the person for whom it is done, (i.e., who is 
associated with Me in it.)" (Muslim) . 

J^M S**J cf 'J>> Ji ^ if ccw/> oV) 

otf* & fc*u & 443 i f 'A p * J-«^' & J^s jJL-j 

(397/157) Abu Sa'eed ibn Abu Fadalah 4$> relates it from the 
Messenger of Allah 0 that he said: "When Allah will gather all 
men, (both the former and the latter ones), on the Day of 
Resurrection, which is absolutely certain, a herald will proclaim: 
'Whoever associated anyone else in a deed he performed for 
Allah should claim the reward for it from that other, for Allah is 
more independent of polytheism, i.e., partnership than all the 
partners." (Musnad Ahmad) 

Commentary: The moral of the above Tradition is that Allah 


Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

accepts only the deed and gives the reward on it which is 
performed with single-minded devotion and in quest of His 
pleasure, and no one aside of Him is associated with it. As against 
it, if the winning of the favour of anyone else, too, apart from the 
Almighty, or the gaining of an advantage from him be the aim, it 
will, definitely, not find acceptance with Allah who is exceedingly 
intolerant of polytheism. 

This is the effect and consequence of deeds that are performed 
for the sake of Allah, but the intention is not pure, and anyone 
besides Him is made a partner in it by any means. The good deeds 
that are done merely to make a name or a favourable impression on 
others will not only be rejected with disdain, but the faithless 
traders in duplicity and deception will, also, be thrown into Hell. 

Disgrace And Ignominy Will 
Be The Lot of The Dissembler 

^^Uji^j^ip^ JU^JIS JlSv^J* ClAAoA) 

(398/158) It is related by Jundub 4&> that the Messenger of 

Allah % said: "Whoever will do a good deed for fame and 

repute, Allah will make him famous, and whoever will do a 

good deed for exhibition, Allah will show him much." 

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

Commentary: It shows that a punishment that will be meted out to 

those who do good deeds for renown or display will be that their 

falseness and hypocrisy will be laid open and everyone will come 

to know that their good-doing was not for the sake of allah, but for 


In short, the insincerity and hollowness of these wretched men 
will be laid bare on the Day of Last Judgement and they will be put 
to shame and humiliation before undergoing the punishment of 

Stern Warning to Those Who Seek 
Worldly Gain in The Name of Faith 

# oudi yjJr ^ui) olii j p4 j^j jUjji a 


The Book of Manners 


(399/159) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger 
• of Allah ft said: "During the Last Phase, decievers and 
dissemblers will be born who will seek after the world in the 
garb of Faith. They will wear sheepskin to impress the people 
with their asceticism and meekness, (and) their speech will be 
sweeter than sugar, but in their breasts there will be the hearts of 
wolves Allah says about them : 'Are they being mistaken by My 
tolerance or have they become so bold as to contend aganist 
Me? 1 swear by Myself that I shall raise from among them a 
mischief that will confound even the wise and the learned in 
their midst." < Tirmizi > 
Commentary: It shows that the worst kind of fraud and 
double-dealing is to pose before the people as holy men and exploit 
their simplicity and credulousness for worldly gain. These pedlars 
in faith and spirituality who by their glib tongue and soft speech 
ensnare the simple-minded folk are guilty of both deception and 
trading in religion. For them the warning of Allah is that they will 
be caught in various troubles and afflictions even in their self-time. 

Severest Chastisement of Hell For 
Deceitful Worshippers And Theologians 

a *3 J* tojAfc 4^ u 3> J>o V* *M 

% * l& <!> & e$ &¥&r^ *>5 

(400/160) It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger 
of Allah ft said: "Beg (the Lord) for refuge from Jubbul Huzn 
(Pit or Well of Sorrow)". "What is Jubbul Huzn?" Some 
Companions enquired. "It is a valley (or pit) of Hell (which is so 
terrible that) even the Hell seeks protection from it four hundred 
times each day," replied the Prophet ft. It was, again, asked for 
him: "Who will go to it?" "The great worshippers or reciters of 
the Qur'an who do good deeds to show off to others," the 
Prophet ft said. ( Tirmizi > 
Commentary: In it, the sacred Prophet ft has used the word, 
Qurra for people who will be cast into Jubbul Huzn. It can mean 

454 Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

those who observe worship much as well as those who are 
distinguished for the study and recitation of Qur'an. What this 
Tradition, thus, denotes is that those who, apparently, are great 
adorers of Allah and reciters of the Qur'an, but, in fact, all their 
religiousness and piety is hypocritical and intented for display will 
be condemned to it. 

On the Day of Judgement Will be The Hypocritical 
Theologian, Martyr And Doer of Charity 

j cJ^ Jli £J^iLi dirt Jtt dJL* U4 

^ ^aJi ^ 4< >i * Oil i^r jiij citf 
jil u« -o avjft ijlj uIpj j*3 3 ju)i 
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}i jiag 013*3 p> wj5j» juj ^'i cJfo J£&3 

Ui Jtf Ui; **>i -u 'Jk 4T JUli Jilii ^ ifcpij 4# ill 

jj) fajl!$$&yj i ' 

(401/161) It is related by Abu Hurayrah ^k> that the Messenger 
of Allah $H said: "The first whom the sentence (of Hell) will be 
pronounced in the Court of the Almighty, on the Day of 
Judgement, will be a man who would have been martyred (in 
the field of Jihad). He would be produced before Allah, and He 
would tell him what blessings He has bestowed upon him. The 
man would acknowledge them, Upon it, Allah would say: 'Now, 
tell Me, what have you done with the blessings I had conferred?' 
He will answer. 'I did Jihad in your path until 1 was killed." 'You 
are a liar,' Allah would say. 'You desired that people should say 
that such a one was a brave man, and that has been said already'. 
He would then, be cast headlong into Hell at the command of 
Allah, with him there would be another man who would have 
acquired the knowledge of Faith and taught it to others as well, 
and, also, got the whole of the Qur'an by heart. Allah would 

The Book of Manners 


remind him, too of His blessings, and he would acknowledge 
them. Allah would ask, And what have you done with regard to 
My blessings? (to what use did you put them)?' He would reply, 
*I learnt all that was to be learnt about You and Your Faith and 
taught it to others, also, and was, continually, at it during the 
hours of the day and the night, and I did it for Thy sake alone.' 
*You are a liar', Allah would say. 'You did only desire that 
people should say such a one was a learned man and a reciter of 
the Qur'an, and that has been said already. He would, then, be 
cast headlong into Hell at the command of Allah. And with 
them, there would be a third man whom Allah had blessed with 
an abundance of wealth, and Allah would remind him, also, of 
His blessings, and he would acknowledge everything. 
Thereupon, Allah, would say, 'And what have done with what I 
gave you?' He will reply, *I spent the wealth bestowed by You in 
the paths and on the acts that were to Your liking, and I did it 
wholly for Your sake.' 'You are a liar', Allah would say. 'You 
only desired that people should say that such a one was a 
generous man, and that has been said already.' After it, he, too, 
would be cast headlong into Hell at the command of Allah." 

Commentary: How frightful, indeed is the purport and 
significance of this Tradition! It is reported that Sayyidina Abu 
Hurayrah sometimes, used to faint while relating it. It is, also, 
said that, once, as it was being related before Sayyidina Mu'awiya 
4&>, he cried so much that he was taken ill. 

The three deeds mentioned above are, evidently, good deeds of 
the highest order and if these are performed with unalloyed 
sincerity and earnestness, the recompense on them, surely, is the 
attainment of Divine good pleasure and elevation in ranks in the 
Hereafter. But if these very acts are done to earn renown or for 
obtaining any other worldly advantage, they are so intensly wrong 
and sinful in the judgement of Allah that the punishment of Hell 
will be awarded to those who are guilty of them ahead of all the 
other evil-doers, like the thieves, robbers and adulterers, and they 
will be the first to be sent to that infernal place. 

To Be Respected For Good-Doing 
is A Favour of The Lord 

dfti jfe JU> S£'J> J3 J* > *J> & (t • u\ it) 



Meaning and Message of the Traditions Part II 

(402/162) Narrates Abu Zarr Ghiffari 4&> that , once, it was 
enquired from the Messenger of Allah 0 "What is the 
command about a man who does a good deed and people speak 
highly of him because of it?" (In another version of it, it is 
stated that the questioner had asked: "What is the command 
about a man who does a good deed and people love him on 
accout of it)?' "It is the ready glad tiding for the faithful 
bondsman." The Prophet iH replied. (Muslim) 

Commentary: The sayings of the sacred Prophet $1 concerning 
dissimulation and the seeking of praise and honour had made the 
Companions c^> so greatly afraid that some of them felt that if 
people started admiring anyone for a good deed, and his 
devoutness and well-doing began to be talked about, the deed 
might not find acceptance with Allah as he had been recompensed 
already, in this world, in the form of affection and admiration. It 
was as a result of this fear and anxiety that the enquiry was made. 
The Prophet A replied that there was nothing wrong if a person 
was held in high esteem owing to his virtue and good-doing. On 
the contrary, it should be taken as an indication of his worthiness, 
in the sight of Allah, and a ready recompense, in the present 
existence, and in advance of the real reward that awaited him in the 

In the same way, once, as Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah <t£k> was 
offering prayer, some chanced to come and see him in that state. 
The celebrated Companion tells that he felt pleased at being seen 
while engaged in a virtuous act like prayer. He narrated it to the 
holy Prophet & so that if his reaction, too, was a form of Riya, he 
might repent for it and seek the forgiveness of the Lord. But the 
Prophet m assured him that it was not so, and he will be rewarded 
both for doing a good in private and in public. 

We, thus, learn from it that if a virtuous act is performed for the 
sake of Allah and without the intention of being seen during it, but 
the others come to know about it, and the person who does so feels 
happy over it, it will not be opposed to single-minded devotion. 

Moreover, if anyone does a virtuous deed in the presence of 
others with the idea that they learn about it and try to emulate his 
example, it would not be hypocrisy. In fact, he will be rewarded for 
the preaching and propagation of Faith. 

As many Traditions show, the holy Prophet m had the same 
purpose, also, in the mind while performing an act on a number of 





(plofamal) deeds. 


pi of Hadith. 

Ahl Kitab 

people of the Book. This term is used by the Qur'an tor 

lrtwc *»nH r^hrictinnc whn fnllnw a revealed rclifiion 

Allahu Akbar 

j£\ ui\ 

Allah is the ureatest. 


the afternoon salah. 

A /.an 

the call to salah. 


Helper (s) People of Madinah who welcomed the Prophet 

and Muhajir from Makkah. 


coitus interruptus. 





covenant of allegiance. 





intervening period between death and resurrection 

whether in grave or otherwise 





faith, belief in Islam 


festival Day marking the end of month of fasting is eed 

Hl-fitr ( 1 st Shawwal) and day of sacrifice is edd ul-azha 


the dawn salah. 


absolute obligation, an enjoined duty. 


Bathing to remove legal impurity 


migration The Prophet's ift migration to Madinah 

marking the begining of the Islamic calendar. 


A saying, doing or practice, or silent approval of the 

Hadith (Saheeh) 

a sound Hadith 

Hadith (Da'eef) 

*» Hadith 
d wcoa iiauiui. 

|l ar |! t L JVlnrcih 

Haditn iiYiursaij 

incompletely transmitted Hadith. 

Haditn (vtarioo ; 

Hadith traced back to the Prophet 

Hadith (Mawdoo 1 ) 


Hadith (Qudsi) 

That which Allah has said to the Prophet # through 

inspirations or dream and he has retold it in his own 


pilgrimage. It is incumbent on every Muslim who has the 

ability to perform it once in his life time in the month of 
Zul Hajjah. 


a prayer for the Holy Prophet & to the blessed by Allah. 


optional salah in the forenoon. 


veil worn or observed by women, seclusion of women. 





unlawful, forbidden. 


night salah before retiring. 


to give respite to a sinner to defer his punishment and let 
him innolue in more sins, so that he may be punished 
ultimately a severe punishment. 


seeking guidance from Allah thmunh ^alah tfi tackle a 
situation or deed in the right way. 


to seek forgiveness of Allah. 


abstertion, cleansing of body after relieving oneself. 


words of azan called to signal the standing up of the 
congregation for salah. An additional phrase is repeated 
twice and the words are called relatively quickly. 


leader of the congretation. 



optional salah a little after sunrise. 


t-U,.,— .1 

a prayer (through salah) for rain during drought. 


breaking fast after sunset during Ramadan. 


seclusion for the purpose of worshiping Allah. Men do it 
in the mosque and women at home. There are different 
kinds of it, for instance, the last ten days of Ramadan. 

III ram 

the state which a pilgrim assumes during Hajj and Umrah 
imposing certain restrictions on him. 


waiting period for a divorced woman or widow after 

whirh qKp mav rnnnrrv 
vTiiivu out in ay luiuuj y. 




war waged solely for the sake of Allah against enemies of 


■Isw^mi al-Kilam 

afHVTHIUI 11 miaiu 

unci vApiesMuiia iiioai lAJuiprcnansivc in meaning. 


the tax imnosed on nrm-Muslims under <5tfite nmtectinn 

in Muslim countries. 





lrinH nf dich nf mpat flrttir And cnii^c 
uiiu Kti uou ui uicok, iiuui cuiu spiuva. 



expression, expression of belief ^ »ri* aLi V *i 

Khatim ul-Anhiya 

The Seal of Prophets, the last of Prophets. (Prophet 


Solar eclipse. 


lunar eclipse. 

Kh ii I bah 


sermon. Friday or eed sermon delivered from the minbar 


The Companions of the Prophet £§k who had migrated to 
Madman during the Prophet's # life time. 


he who confirms or bears witness to a truth. 


one who supervises. 


sunset, the salan after sunset. 


faith, religion, creed. 


a piece VI U vv a DI allClJ %}T lOOl USCil aa lUOlil ClvanCT. 


the worshippers who follow the Imam in congregational 




La ilaha illAUahu 

There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the 


Messenger of Allah. 




Laylatul Qadr 

Night of power, one of the odd nights in the last ten days 

of Ramadan when the Quran was revealed and which the 
worshipper has to search for. 




the norm of the Prophet his words and deeds. 

Salah . 

prayer (five times a day), fajr, zuhr, asr, maghrib and 

anan an 

cnrrwl law nf Islam based on Our*an and Sunnah 




Companion of the Prophet ft. 


seven rounds between Safa and Marwah at Makkah 
during the pilgrimage. 

Sahr or Suhoor 

meal taken before dawn to commence fasting 


veil, parts of body that need be covered - for men from 
navel down to knee and for women from head to feet. 


greetings, peace. 


purity, purification. A portion or value of property given 

in charity to the poor (as the due of Allah) each year by 

Ihnsp whr» mialifv the mimimum stioulated wealth. 

au ran 

mapicr oi uii? viii oji- 

1 a DUG 

ahsnliite worshin 

I ADI ec 

one who has seen a Companion or conversed with one. 


circumambulation of the Ka'bah. 

Sajdah . 



(pi. rakalt) unit of salah made up of standing, bowing 

OJIU 1 WU | >1 USU BUUU9- 


L/UVV lllgL, UUWU ill ooJoJl- 


rriH r^fttal in thr- sittino nocture in snlah 


<:ufiMm adherence to sufism 


to call out Allahu Akbar. 


1 1,: 

tn 5nv *Jji 1\ ii\ "i ^There is no God but Allah) 


to glorify Allah. 



to recite the Qur'an. 


optional salah late in the night on getting up from sleep 

for it. 

ta yam mum 

dry ablution. 


to recite Labayk: >_S-.j-i *i • wi^l j*-*- 11 




the direction of the ka'bah which worshippers face in 




the noon salah when the sun begins to decline 


a people or nation, community, who have received a 


additional, optional, supererogatory. 


XJl > it 111 a II 


The Day of Resurrection. 

G 2 rift 
■31 rat 

a narrow bridge that all will have to cross after 


It' a u/th a i* 


the pond and the river by this name in Paradise. 


a tree growing in Hell which is the food of the people of 



rubbish and impurity pouring of the bodies of those 

condemned (to Hell). 


an adherent to Sufism, a saint who has reached the end of 

the path. 


see Tasawwuf. 


having no love for the mundane benefits. 


remembrance of Allah. 




same as miswak 

w aqf 

religious endowment. 


y > 

odd, the wajib three raka'at salah in the night after isha 

sal ah. 


obligatory (slightly less than fard). 

aaiatui tiajan 

two raka'at salah to seek fulfilment of need. 

saiat ui ivnawai 

A particular way of offering congregational prayer in the 


Salat ut Tasbeeh 

the salah of glorification, a four raka'at salah (optional) 

performed in a particular way. 


OBUqUlUI 1111 

a charity given after completing fasting before salah of 

Eed ul-fitr. 




The place beyond which a pilgrim cannot proceed 

without having assumed the ihram. 



the throwing of pabbles at the Jimar in Mina by the 



(pi. of Jamrah): three stone pillars at Mina at which 

pilgrims throw pebbles. 





angles, existence: 80 

actions judged by intentions 

Abu Hurayrah: 34, 85, 101, 103, 115, 1 19, 124, 
129, 139, 141, 146, 149f, 161, 189f, 212f, 
228f 234f, 240f, 253, 268f, 277f, 288, 294, 
302f, 316f, 322f, 338f, 344f, 349f, 358f, 
364, 370f, 379f, 387, 399f, 4Uf, 418f, 427, 
44 1 f, 45 1 f 

Abdullah lbn Umar: 89, 125, 160, 178, 188, 
194, 246, 260, 272, 353, 372, 382, 406, 
42 If, 446 

Anas ibn Maalik: 90, 109, 119, 125f, 133f, 
144 150, 176, 183f, 202f, 212f, 230f, 250f, 
258, 271, 276f, 293f, 354f, 365, 379f, 393, 

Abu Ayyub:93,316 

Abdullah ibn Abbas: 34, 97, 138, 141, 147, 
151, 231, 257, 277, 285, 296, 38lf. 429, 

Abdullah ibn Mas'ood: 102, 142, 145, 158, 

185, 251, 279, 290, 299, 320, 364, 377, 385, 

Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-Aas: 17, 135, 148, 

166, 186, 197, 203, 213, 272, 310, 317, 

338f, 344f, 392, 424f 
Asmaar-Rijaal: 17 
Abu ibn Hatim: 23, 187 

Abu Bakr: 31, 56, 115, 119, 123, 257f. 311, 

Ali (ibn Abu Talib): 31, 159, 342, 414 

Abdur Rahman ibn Awf 34 

Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 62 

Abu Salamah: 34 

Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr: 38 

Abdullah ibn Dinar: 38 

Abd Zinad: 38 

Abdur ibn Sa'eed: 38 

Abu Tuwalah: 39 

Abdul Aziz Dehlavi: 40 

ablution: 59 

azan: 59 

Abu Talha Ansari : 6 1 , 3 59 
Abdullah ibn Mubarak: 62 
Abdullah Ghaznawi: 62 
A'mash Tabi'ee: 103 

Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri: 103, 119, 122, 143, 
187, 199, 210f, 231, 243, 390, 398, 405, 
425, 450 

Abu Zarr Ghifari: 111, 138, 241, 254, 288, 
292, 315f, 324, 330, 356f, 365, 381, 409, 
424, 456 

adultery: Ml, 147 

Abu Musa: 119,260,269,370 

Amr ibn al-Aas: 121,437 

Amr ibn Awf: 275 

Abu Umamah: 132, 282f, 360, 406f, 429 
Abbas ibn Abd Muttalib. 132, 252 
Abu Shurayh Khuza'i: 140 

Aus ibn Surahbil. 145 

Abdullah ibn Ubayy: 149 

Abu Khizamah: 159 

Allah, attributes of: 161,314, 442 

Allah, Seeing Him (see vision) 

Asma ul-Husna (see Allah attributes) 

Allah, responsibility of: 285 

Asma daughter of Abu Bakr: 180 

Abu RazeenUqaili: 188,227 

Ayshah: 196f, 248f, 256, 294f, 332, 339f, 352, 

375f, 385f 
Asma daughter of Yazid: 200, 396 
Aadam, father of mankind: 209 

Auf ibn Maalik: 211 

Abdullah ibn Harith: 231 

Abu Burdah: 260 

Abu Darda: 283, 339, 433 

Amr ibnShu ayb:291,310 

Abu Kabshah al-Anmari: 303 

Abdullah ibn Abu Maryam: 305 

Abdullah ibn Shaddad: 313 

Abdullah ibn Aamir. 410 

Amr ibn Maymoon: 319 

Abu Juray Jabir: 321 

asSataamu alayk: 321 

Abdullah ibn Ja'far: 345 

Abdur Rahman ibn Abdullah . 346 

Abul Qasim: 347 

Atyah ibn Urwah: 381 

anger, suppress: 382 

Abdullah ibn Sarjis: 384 

Ali ibn Husain Zainul Abideen: 395 

Abdur Rahman ibn Ghanam: 396 

Abu Barzah Aslami: 397 

Ammar ibn Yasir: 400 

Abdur Rahman ibn Abu Qarad: 404 

Ashtah ibn Qays: 409 

Abdullah ibn Abdul Hamsa: 415 

Ayaz ibn Himar: 416 

Abu Saeed ibn Abu Fadalah: 45 1 

Bustan ul Muhadditheen: 40 
Bilal: 55 
Badr Aalam: 64 
blessing in provision . 104 
Badr, battle of:- 113 
Banu an-Najr: 115 
bay-ah: 121 

Bahz ibn Hakeem: 145,411 
barzakah: 171,244 
Bara ibn Azib: 174 
bridge (see sirat) 
borrowing from a Jew: 297 


Creator: 90 

Condolence to Mu az: 431 

Damam: 93 


demonstration, practiced: 22 
dua (see supplication) 
dajjal: 128, 183, 186 
destiny (see also fate): 
Divine Decree, stages of: 167 
doubts: 168 

deeds placed before Allah on Monday & 
Thursday: 374 


eeman (see Iman) 


fasting: 76,89,91, 109 

Fazlur Rahman Ganj Mooradabadi: 62 

faith, branches of: 130 

fortunate/unfortunate (see sa'eed/shafi) 

fate: 166 

fire of Hell: 228f 


Ghazali: 83(tn) 
grave, questions: 174 
Ghassaq: 231 


Hajj: 76, 89,91, 121 
Heven, closer to: 93 
Hell, further from: 93 
Hadith, narrating: 95 
Hadith, preservation: 16 
Hujjatullah al-Baligah: 17 
Hudaibiya: 24 
Hisham ibn Urwah: 39 
hijrah (see pilgrimage) 
hostilities cease: 126 
havva and huda: 136 
hypocrisy: 149,328,401,452 
Huzayfah: 158,354,396 
Hathiyah: 201 
Hanzalah ibn ar-Rabi: 259 
Harithah ibn Wahb: 378,417 
Hakeem ibn Hizam: 426 

intentions: 69 
ikhlas: 72, 443 
Islam, divided in 3 parts: 74 
, what is: 76 

, fundamental principles: 78 

, five things: 89 

, last & eternal: 60 
Iman (see also faith): 76, 1 19 
Ihsan: 76 

invisible beings: 79 
Ibn ul-Qayyirn: 28, 83fn 
Ibn Umar (see^Abdullah) 
Ibn Abbas (see Abdullah) 
Ibn Mas'ood (see Abdullah) 
Ishaq ibn Abdullah: 38 
Ismail ibn Muhammad: 38 
Iqamah: 59 
istidraj: 105fh,304f 
Itbaan ibn Maalik: 113 
intercession: 1 19, 206f 
Ibn Ta'ymiyah: I48fn 
Ibn Dailani: 157 
Isa ibn Maryam: 1 86, 214 

lmran ibn Husain: 21 1, 284, 422 
Ibrahim, Prophet: 213 
lmran ibn Hittan: 394 


Jami' ul-Kilam: 73 
Jibreel: 77, 87,213,234,362 
Jihad: 89,94, 123, 143,312 
Jizyah: 34, 126 

Jabir: 119, 124, 179, 184, 220, 256, 267, 274, 

341,347f,356, 398,4l2f 
Jarir ibn Abdullah: 226, 343,376 
Jubayr ibnNutayr: 281 
Jew, borrowing from: 297 
Jundub: 452 


Ka'b ibn Ujra: 24 

Ka'b ibn Maalik: 61,276 

Kalimah: 104, 110, 198,298 

Khayr: 1 19 

Khawarij: 120, 129 

Kalimah, do not call infidel one who recites: 

128, 147f 
Kauthar, pond: 20) 
Khanzalah ibn a!-Rabi': 240 
Ka'bn ibn lyad: 275 
Khuraym ibn Ff.tik: 404 

Last Hour: 85, 171, 184,242f 

signs: 86, 188 
lust & guidance (see hawa & huda) 
Last Hour, description: 189f 
life long: 311 

laughter kills the heart: 323 
lahawla wala qu wata: 324 

Migration: 69 
Musaddiq: 81 
Muhaimin: 81 
Mother ofSunnah: 87 

Mu'az ibn Jabal: 97, 106, 110, 117, 137, 254, 

289,326f,340, 36l,388,430f 
Mughirah: 33,206 
Muhammad ibn Maslamah: 33 
Mu'awiyah: 35, 332,455 
Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir: 38 
Muhzama ibn Sulaiman: 38 
Musa ibn Aqaba: 38 
Miswar ibn Rifa'ah: 39 
Maalik ibnDukhaysh: !13 
Murjiyah: 120 
Mu'tazilah: 129 
Modesty: 130 

Mu'awiyah ibn Haidah: 145 
Miqdad: 189 
Musa, Prophet: 209 
Mustawrid ibn Shaddad: 267 
Muhammad ibn Labeed: 284 
Mus'ab ibn Sa'd: 309 
Maalik, Imam: 341 
Maryam: 362 
Miraj: 398 
Mu'jizah: 441 
Mahmood ibn Labeed: 450 



Navavi: 84fn 
Nooh, Prophet: 23 
Najar, Banu (see Banu) 
Nutfah: 164 

Nu'man ibn Basheer: 229, 233, 369 
Nadr: 259 


ostentation: 449f 


pilgrimage: 89, 121 
Prophet, last: (see Seal of Prophets) 
predestination (see Divine Decree) 
Prophet names surah that made him old: 257f 
piety and wealth do not go together generally: 

parable of three men: 446f 


Questions, do not ask: 90f 
qiblah: 125, 127 
Qatadah ibn Nu'man: 271 

Refuttal: 82 

Rashid Ahmand Gangohi: 62 

Rahmat,ar (The Compassionate): 166,343 

revelation: 171 

reckoning, easy: 199 

Rahim, ar: 343 

riya: 449f 


Salah: 76, 89, 9 If, 109, 125, 150, 226 

Seal of Prophets. 15, 82 

Shabbir Ahmad Usmani: 83fn 

Sanadi: 84fh 

Sa'd, Banu: 93 

Sa'd:32, 301,442 

Salim ibn Abu Umayyah: 38 

Sa'd ibn Ishaq: 38 

Sa'eed ibn Abu Sa'eed: 38 

Salamah ibn Dinar: 38 

Salih ibn Kaysan: 38 

Safwan ibn Sulaim: 38 

Suyuti: 40 

Sufyan Suri: 62 

Supplication: 66, (in tahajjud) 342, 361 
Sandals of the Prophet: 1 16 
seventy (and odd): 130,353 
S as wan ibn Su lay m 1 46 
Sufyan ibn Abdullah Thafati: 153 
sa'eed & shaqi: 164 
Sa'd ibnMu'az: 180 
sirat: 201 

Sahl ibn Sa'd: 203, 268, 287, 307, 357, 384, 

Samurah: 205, 230 

Shu'ayb Rumi: 225 

Shaddad ibn Aws: 246, 449 

Sa'eed Maqburi: 295 

Shazlia: 325 

Sahl ibn Mu'az: 382 

Sufyan ibn Aseed: 407 

Suhayb: 428 

Sa'd ibn Ubada: 430 


Ta'bud: 85 

ties of relationship: 93 

Talah ibn Ubaydullah: 96 


theft: 111, 147 

Tariq Ashja'ee: 124 

trumpet: 186,244 

terrible occasions, three: 195 

Thawban: 204 

Torah: 298 

three things true: 303 

tahlil: 314 

taqwa: 330 

tahajjud: 342 

tawakkal: 434f 

Thabit ibn Zayd: 430 


Umar ibn al-Khattab: 33, 69, 75, 103, 115, 123, 

261,298,328, 362,416,437 
Umar stops Abu Hurayrah from delivering 

message: 1 16 
Umar ibn Abdul Aziz: 1 7 
Umm Salamah: 34 

Uthman ibn Affan: 35, 151, 178f,2l5, 301 

Ubadah ibn Samit: 106, 405 

Ubayy ibn Ka'b: ,244,430 

Urwah ibn Mas'ood: 186, 296 

Umamah: 200 

Utbah ibn Ubayd: 249 

Umm Darda: 283, 433 

Uqbah ibn Amir: 304, 392 

Ubayd ibn Khalid:3l2 

Ubayd ibn Rifa'ah: 406 

Umm Kulsoom: 413 

Usama ibn Zayd: 430 


Vision of Allah: 192f,223f 


Waliullah, Shah: 17, 63, 83fn, 164, 167 
Wahb ibn Kaysam: 38 
wudu (see ablution) 
wine: 147 

writing (down - Arabic sense): 1 63 
wahy (see revelation) 
Wasilah ibn al-Asqa: 375 

Yam an: 97 
Yahya ibn Sa'eed: 39 
Yazid ibn Ruman: 39 
Yazid ibn Abdullah: 39 

Zakah: 76, 89, 91 f, 123 

Zayd ibn Thabit: 33, 158, 181, 278 

Zahid ibn Aslam: 38 

zikr: 65, 245,314, 330 

Zaqqum: 232 

zuhd: 287f 

zahid defined: 288 

Zubayr: 373 

Zayd ibn Arkam: 415f 

Zayd ibn Talhah: 420 

Zaynab: 430